Better to Have Gone by Akash Kapur audiobook

Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville

By Akash Kapur

Simon & Schuster Audio 9781501132513
1
Format : CD (In Stock)
  • Regular Price: $39.99

    Special Price $25.99

    Available on 07/20/2021

    ISBN: 9781797127736

From Whiting Award winner Akash Kapur, a transfixing and deeply researched masterwork that blends the investigation into an unsolved family mystery with a fascinating portrait of Auroville—a Utopian community on the coast of southern India. As a young boy, Akash Kapur moved with his family to Auroville, off the Bay of Bengal in India. Founded in 1968 by a French woman known as “The Mother,” the town is a spiritual utopia, with no money, no government, no religion, no tall buildings or expressways, no news channels. Built for 50,000 people, Auroville today has only about 2,500 permanent residents, and is one of the longest-lasting and largest intentional communities in the world. It was here that Akash met the girl who would later become his wife, Auralice. Both grew up in Auroville, and left during their teenage years, in pursuit of an American education. Now, married, they are returning, and confronting the ghosts of their—especially Auralice’s—childhoods. In 1986, both of Auralice’s parents died in Auroville under mysterious circumstances just 24 hours apart. Her father, John Walker, grew up in an elite east coast family surrounded by the Kennedys, and Akash’s father was one of the founding directors of the National Art Gallery in Washington. Auralice’s mother, Diane Maes, was a beautiful rebel from Belgium. Full of dreams and idealism, they came to Auroville in the 1960s along with thousands of others. Their subsequent deaths have always been shrouded in mystery, and now, as Akash and Auralice are trying to start their own family, they began unpacking reality from legend, and begin to understand the larger social and ideological forces that had driven John and Diane to their tragic ends. Offering a fascinating glimpse into the sociology of utopia, Akash unravels the haunting mystery through a meticulous retelling of their lives, spread across time and continents, in a stunning blend of cultural history and memoir. Richly atmospheric and filled with unforgettable characters, Better to Have Gone explores timeless questions about faith, idealism, spiritual exploration and conviction, and the violent extremism into which they so often descend.

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Summary

Summary

From Whiting Award winner Akash Kapur, a transfixing and deeply researched masterwork that blends the investigation into an unsolved family mystery with a fascinating portrait of Auroville—a Utopian community on the coast of southern India.

As a young boy, Akash Kapur moved with his family to Auroville, off the Bay of Bengal in India. Founded in 1968 by a French woman known as “The Mother,” the town is a spiritual utopia, with no money, no government, no religion, no tall buildings or expressways, no news channels. Built for 50,000 people, Auroville today has only about 2,500 permanent residents, and is one of the longest-lasting and largest intentional communities in the world. It was here that Akash met the girl who would later become his wife, Auralice. Both grew up in Auroville, and left during their teenage years, in pursuit of an American education. Now, married, they are returning, and confronting the ghosts of their—especially Auralice’s—childhoods.

In 1986, both of Auralice’s parents died in Auroville under mysterious circumstances just 24 hours apart. Her father, John Walker, grew up in an elite east coast family surrounded by the Kennedys, and Akash’s father was one of the founding directors of the National Art Gallery in Washington. Auralice’s mother, Diane Maes, was a beautiful rebel from Belgium. Full of dreams and idealism, they came to Auroville in the 1960s along with thousands of others. Their subsequent deaths have always been shrouded in mystery, and now, as Akash and Auralice are trying to start their own family, they began unpacking reality from legend, and begin to understand the larger social and ideological forces that had driven John and Diane to their tragic ends.

Offering a fascinating glimpse into the sociology of utopia, Akash unravels the haunting mystery through a meticulous retelling of their lives, spread across time and continents, in a stunning blend of cultural history and memoir. Richly atmospheric and filled with unforgettable characters, Better to Have Gone explores timeless questions about faith, idealism, spiritual exploration and conviction, and the violent extremism into which they so often descend.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Akash Kapur has written a trenchant, nuanced account of the longing for a perfect world. Working from personal experience and a writer’s profound curiosity, he takes us deep into the heart of an intentional community’s ambitions and failures. This is an important work about the eternal human desire for utopia, and about the dystopia that always lurks within these dreams.” Vikram Chandra, internationally bestselling author

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Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Akash Kapur

Author Bio: Akash Kapur

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Audience: Adult
Language: English