Maximum City

Maximum City

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Maximum City

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Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found is a narrative nonfiction book by Suketu Mehta, published in 2004, about the Indian city of Mumbai ("Bombay"). It was published in hardcover by Random House's Alfred A. Knopf imprint. When released in paperback, it was published by Vintage, a subdivision of Random House.


The book combines elements of memoir, travel writing as well as socio-political analysis of the history and people of Mumbai. Mehtawrites as a person who is at one level outsider to this magnificent city and on the other hand is the one who is born here and has lived his childhood in the city then known as Bombay. As a person who comes back with his experience of returning to the city as an adult, as well as a parent and resident. His family left Mumbai for the US in 1977, settling in the Jackson Heights, section of Queens, in New York City.

Mehta's return to Mumbai as an adult details his frustration with everyday day life in a developing nation. He frankly describes the slums and how they can crop up anywhere, even alongside the railroad tracks. In explaining the slums and squatting, Mehta delves into the politics of modern Mumbai: the party divisions along Hindu versus Muslim lines, the criminal Mumbai underworld and the impact of the shocking 1993 Bombay bombings. He meets with murderous gangsters as well as prominent politician Bal Thackeray of the far-right party Shiv Sena to give the reader the fullest view of a city seemingly too large to have...
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