Smoke and Mirrors by Joyce Lau, International Herald Tribune
"Smoke and Mirrors" is a smart, insightful book about modern China… What sets Aiyar's work apart is that it is not written by an academic or expert, nor is it told from either a Western or Chinese viewpoint...... she has discovered a way of bridging her native and adopted homes. As someone well acquainted with the problems of Asian development, she easily sees past the smoke and mirrors of China's shiny new metropolis
India/China Reality Check by Sukhdev Sandhu, The New Statesman
A deeply insightful and often very amusing mixture of travelogue, memoir and political analysis …..offers a perspective that benefits vastly from the time she has spent talking to villagers, small traders and economic migrants as much as to CEOs and think-tank wonks…..Clever, engaging, reflexive: Aiyar's book will affront "India Shining" ideologues as much as it punctures the gassy platitudes of "Chindia" boosters.
Chinese takeaway by Sunil Sethi, India Today
Smoke and Mirrors is by far the most well-informed and entertaining account of life in the Middle Kingdom by an Indian in recent years.
India’s Chinese Wall by Jeffrey Wassesrstrom, Foreign Policy
We benefit from having Aiyar’s cultural vantage point and nuanced lens. She is a better guide to exploring those issues that don’t easily fit into the already hackneyed “Dragon vs. Elephant” cliché. And when it comes to answering that all-important question of how these countries are improving the future for their citizens, who better to help us understand than someone who knows them both with the love of a native and the curiosity of a traveler?
Smoke and Mirrors by Pankaj Mishra
Spurning the usual West-centric perspective on China, Pallavi Aiyar brings a sharp assessing eye to her intractably complex subject. In brisk, often entertaining, prose, she exposes the rich paradoxes and ironies of both 'authoritarian' China and 'democratic' India.
Sonia Gandhi on ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ by Sonia Gandhi, President, Congress Party
Smoke and Mirrors is thoroughly entertaining and educative, written with wit and perception in a lively and evocative style. Aiyar’s observations and experiences helped me to better understand China to which I have been an occasional visitor.
Smoke and Mirrors: Review by Sanjaya Baru, Outlook Magazine
An Indian window has finally been opened onto contemporary China...a witty, insightful and profound book...It deserves to be widely read in India and around the world.
Smoke and Mirrors: Review by Business World
With grace and humour, Aiyar brings to life what would otherwise have been dreary explanations of Chinese culture...Don't skip this one.
Wrapped in the riddle of the Middle Kingdom by Sumana Ramanan, Hindustan Times
A landmark...Aiyar seamlessly combines reportage and analysis.