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Shadows At Noon

Shadows At Noon

The South Asian Twentieth Century


'A classic ... wonderfully enjoyable' WILLIAM DALRYMPLE

This is the authoritative history of South Asia in the 20th century.

Shadows at Noon tells the subcontinent's story from the British Raj through independence and partition to the forging of the modern nations of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Unlike other histories of the region which concentrate exclusively on politics, here food, leisure and the household are given as much importance as nationhood, migration, and the state.

Chatterji makes contemporary South Asia - its cultural vibrancy, diversity, social structures and political make-up - accesible to everyone. In so doing this bold, innovative, and personal work rallies against narratives of 'inherent' differences between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and reveals the many things its people have in common.

'The story of South Asia told with verve, wit and brilliance' ANURADHA ROY
'Chatterji writes with infectious relish' DOMINIC SANDBROOK
'Truly magnificent' MIHIR BOSE
'Wonderful' SIR MARK TULLY


  • With clarity, wit and charm, Joya Chatterji tells the story of the subcontinent's recent history in a fluent sweeping arc ... Wide-angled and hugely ambitious, but also highly personal and pleasingly discursive, [it] is a book she has clearly enjoyed writing and, as a result, it is wonderfully enjoyable to read ... A wonderfully original, genre-defying work that is sure to be a classic
    William Dalrymple, Observer

About the author

Joya Chatterji

Joya Chatterji is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Emeritus Professor of South Asian History at the University of Cambridge and sometime Reader in International History at the London School of Economics. From 2010 to 2021, she was first Editor then Editor-in-Chief of Modern Asian Studies, a leading scholarly journal in the field. Between 2014 and her retirement in 2019, she was Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies at Cambridge. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2018.
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