A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi

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W. W. Norton & Company, Oct 22, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 230 pages
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A 2012 New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

An intimate portrait of an invisible man—a powerful story of one man’s life that contains multitudes.

Like Dave Eggers’s Zeitoun and Alexander Masters’s Stuart, this is a tour de force of narrative reportage.

Mohammed Ashraf studied biology, became a butcher, a tailor, and an electrician’s apprentice; now he is a homeless day laborer in the heart of old Delhi. How did he end up this way? In an astonishing debut, Aman Sethi brings him and his indelible group of friends to life through their adventures and misfortunes in the Old Delhi Railway Station, the harrowing wards of a tuberculosis hospital, an illegal bar made of cardboard and plywood, and into Beggars Court and back onto the streets.

In a time of global economic strain, this is an unforgettable evocation of persistence in the face of poverty in one of the world’s largest cities. Sethi recounts Ashraf’s surprising life story with wit, candor, and verve, and A Free Man becomes a moving story of the many ways a man can be free.
 

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
9
Section 3
23
Section 4
33
Section 5
49
Section 6
68
Section 7
74
Section 8
81
Section 15
155
Section 16
163
Section 17
173
Section 18
177
Section 19
183
Section 20
189
Section 21
195
Section 22
205

Section 9
89
Section 10
94
Section 11
116
Section 12
131
Section 13
141
Section 14
147
Section 23
209
Section 24
215
Section 25
225
Section 26
229
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Aman Sethi was born in Bombay in 1983 and attended the Columbia School of Journalism. He is a correspondent for The Hindu and the recipient of an International Committee of the Red Cross award for his reportage.

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