Amritsar to Lahore

A Journey Across the India-Pakistan Border

On the fiftieth anniversary of partition and independence, in 1997, Stephen Alter travelled across the border between India and Pakistan. Going by train along the historic route of the Frontier Mail and returning by bus on the Grand Trunk Road, he explores the meaning of borders and the many ways in which they divide and segregate people. This journey between two modern nations, which share a common heritage but live in enmity with each other, delineates their history and defines the animosities and politics that keep them apart. In essence, this book is an argument against borders.


Combines evocative detail with compelling reflection.

Ian Talbot, The Times Literary Supplement

Alter has always had a keen eye for the detritus of history, as in early novels like Neglected Lives, a beautifully scripted book of Anglo-India after British rule. But this work of, yes, journalism, has more of a hopeful point: there is now an indelible border, but nobody is really sure what to do with the damn thing.

Sudeep Chakravarti, India Today