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On a shoestring to Coorg : an experience of…
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On a shoestring to Coorg : an experience of southern India : a travel… (edition 1989)

by Dervla Murphy

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701166,644 (3.5)5
Member:nandadevi
Title:On a shoestring to Coorg : an experience of southern India : a travel memoir
Authors:Dervla Murphy
Info:Woodstock, N.Y. : Overlook Press, 1989.
Collections:Your library, Read (under construction), Read 2012
Rating:****1/2
Tags:travel, India, Asia

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On a Shoestring to Coorg: An Experience of Southern India by Dervla Murphy

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For once not on a bicycle, Dervla Murphy travels through Southern India with her five year old daughter, giving rein to what must be one of the world's strongest travelling compulsions. But for someone whose wanderlust is so deeply embedded, she also seems to have a great attachment to place. In Ireland she still lives in the house she grew up in, and on this journey settles into and writes lyrically (and with an finely tuned political and sociological eye) about village life in the district of Coorg in the Indian State of Karnataka.

It is apparent for Murphy the 'journeying' is of secondary importance (she admits to not being able to fix her own bicycle). Her central interest is in people and culture. And there are wonderfully observant portraits of everyone from exiled Tibetans (in replanted communities) to the villagers of the Coorg who straddled ancient traditions and the modern world. Murphy, however, reserves some of her most acute observations to how she and her daughter react to an alien but not-so-different world. Murphy has a great sympathy for the people around her. There's an evident respect for what she comes to know about them (including the things she finds unpalatable such as the caste distinctions), and an acknowledgement of the limitations of her understanding. It seems to me that this is what makes for some of the very best travel writing, and brings to mind Michael Wood's The Smile of Murugan: A South Indian Journey ' which covers some of the same territory. Murphy has written many books, but if you were to choose one to start with this might be the one of the best. Highly recommended. ( )
  nandadevi | Dec 4, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0006547990, Paperback)

From Bombay to the hippy beaches of Goa and on to the tropical tip of India, travelling by boat and bus, staying in fishermans huts and no-star hotels, Dervla Murphy and her young daughter, Rachel, explored southern India. En route, they fell in love with the tiny mountain paradise of Coorg, whose landscapes and people form the focus of an entertaining diary.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:11 -0400)

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