Auroville: Dream and Reality

An anthology of writing from the intentional community of Auroville, illustrated with rare archival photos and images.

“In putting together an anthology of writings, both autobiographical and visionary, fiction and non-fiction, with poems, photographs, drawings, Akash Kapur, the editor, has done a splendid job of retracing the footsteps of the many different folk who have trekked their way to Auroville. You can dip into it where you will. … You can catch a glimpse of the truth as it manifests itself at Auroville and in the often troubled but most often lyrical and searingly honest accounts of those who listened to the Mother’s call.”
— Geeta Doctor, The Hindu

“Auroville: Dream and Reality … contains writing of the highest quality and originality. It is also by far the best anthology of Aurovilian writing that I have come across. … Quite a lot is due to the editor, Akash Kapur’s, decision to focus upon a particular kind of writing. … He decided to favour pieces that ‘dug below the surface of grand policy statements, ambitious blueprints and (often whitewashed) portraiture.’ The result is that much of the best writing in this collection has an immediacy that seems to draw directly from the grain of the Auroville experience.”
— Alan Herbert, Auroville Today

“Auroville turned 50 last month and, rudimentary though its infrastructure might be, it is a testament to the energy of its community that it persists in evolving its alternative way of life. It’s a messy business, and the most effective pieces in Kapur’s anthology show the blood and guts of the pioneers, their ornery cussedness.”
— Shougat Dasgupta, India Today

“The anthology is … about the victory of the spirit over everything else. For those who harbour an Auroville dream, this anthology works as a demystifier.”
The Week

“Auroville is one of the great moral adventures of our time — a brave attempt to break from orthodox political and economic institutions, and create a new community. This bracing anthology describes the bittersweet paradoxes and tensions inherent in building a new city on a hill.”
— Pankaj Mishra, author of Butter Chicken in Ludhiana

“This wonderful anthology puts flesh and bones on the experience of building, living, challenging and refining the utopian ideal—a rich portrayal of reality for all who nurture hopes for a better world”
— Vishakha Desai, Asia Society Emerita President

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