Development Fiction

Exploring 'development' through all things fiction


Poverty and inequality

Trash talking

With population growth and increased consumption, we are producing more waste than before. In 2016, New York was widely cited as the world’s most wasteful city, using the most energy, disposing of the most trash, and using more water than any other city. While cities and corporates continue to introduce waste reducing schemes and encourage recycling, more robust efforts are needed to address the growing negative environmental and social impacts of waste.  Continue reading “Trash talking”


The White Tiger

Aravind Adiga’s award-winning The White Tiger is full of contrasts – ‘twinned pairs and dualities‘. These highlight, not all too subtlety, the widening gap – this ever-present divide – between the rich and the poor, between progress and under-development, between promise and hopelessness. The passages are abound with irony.

Continue reading “The White Tiger”

‘A Village by the Sea’

It has been years since I read Anita Desai’s Village by the Sea. Published in 1982, the novel is aimed primarily at children and young people, and won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize that year.

Continue reading “‘A Village by the Sea’”

Policy vs fiction

“We recognize that people are at the centre of sustainable development and, […] strive for a world that is just, equitable and inclusive” – Rio+20 Outcome Document, The Future We Want, 2012

Compare the above policy narrative with the below:

“My son walks 5 kilometres to his sister’s school to study English. He was going to be a doctor one day” – Solomon Vandy, Blood Diamond, 2006

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