World as Family argues for the kind of openness that can thrive in the scruffiness of reality, rather than push for artificial clarity. It is open to all points of compass, privileging fluidity that emerges from intertwined diversity over sharp divisions. As hard as it is to achieve one’s center or balance in the midst of the unprecedented and interconnected challenges we face as a global community, it is also necessary to find the personal balance while we swim the flow of collective currents.
World as Family is written as much for the young people who are “global natives” as for people like me who have come to the idea of global belonging over a lifetime of traversing long distances in time and space, physically, conceptually, culturally, and emotionally. A personal chronicle, it’s an effort to reclaim global as a kind of palimpsest that allows for the layers of the local, national, and transnational to coexist and comingle. As messy and mixed up as they may be sometimes, the layers are altered by being close to other layers. The proximity may blur the edges of the layers, but the uniqueness of each part can be felt palpably. This book is a chronicle of a life lived in the comingled realities of the personal and the collective, the local and the global, in the hope of creating a new sense of worldly belonging needed for the survival of our humankind.
Columbia University Press is a premier American scholarly publisher and a critical extension of the University’s identity and mission worldwide. The Press is an essential partner in the dissemination of important ideas and research generated by Columbia and other leading global scholarly communities.
Lee C. Bollinger, President and Seth Low Professor of the University, Columbia University
Irina Bokova, former Director-General, UNESCO
Shagun Sethi, MA Student, Columbia University
Copyright © 2021 Vishakha N. Desai - All Rights Reserved.