Better to Have Gone
The grant jury: This book is a moving fusion of memoir, history, and ethnography that will inject new life into these forms. As an investigation into an unsolved mystery, it is compelling; as a meditation on the promise and the limitations of utopianism, it could have global resonance. The writing is unornamented, plangent, and affecting. By evoking the everyday in precise detail, Kapur brings utopianism as lived practice to technicolor life. In attempting to locate the shifting border between extremism and idealism, he has written a book rooted in memory but in dialogue with the present day.