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The Local School available March 2022

Although many view schools, colleges, and universities as the primary places from which we attain an education, opportunities for education surround us all in many overlooked forms, often around the corner, down the block, or even right in your own home. Written over the span of several years as he shuttled to and from the Indian subcontinent, Colin Phelan's debut book The Local School pays tribute to this idea: that the best schools are our local schools, ones of friends, of family, or of the people serendipitously encountered in your own neighborhood.

 

 

Fusing genres of travel writing, narrative journalism, memoir, and poetry, The Local School details Colin Phelan's experiences living and working in India alongside two Indian men, one a teacher, one a truck-driver, whom he met serendipitously and with whom he hatched a powerful bond. For years, young Phelan wrestled with questions about these two Indian men's uniquely uncommon friendship, about what makes an education, as well as the Indian subcontinent's complex history and social fabric. All the while travelling far from home, with the help of these men Phelan learns that the best schools are our local schools. 

Utilizing archival research from the National Archives of India, Delhi, the British Library in London, and behind the scenes access in Kolkata, Delhi, Kashmir, and parts of the Garhwal Himalayan foothills, Phelan offers readers privileged access into worlds of India about which they might otherwise know little.