Sideways on a Scooter:

Life and Love in India


Part memoir, part in-depth reporting on an ancient culture in the throes of modernization, Sideways on a Scooter (Random House, 2011) closely examines the lives of six women in India — some of them privileged, some very poor. The title refers to the modest way in which Indian women are expected to sit on the back of scooters and motorcycles. The book tells the complex and diverse story of today’s India by focusing on the lives of several Indian women. Through their eyes, we learn how little India’s social and religious practices have changed, in spite of enormous economic transformation in that country. 


“The book’s emphasis on personal stories leads to a powerful sense of intimacy.​”

--The Washington Post


The Washington Post wrote, “Kennedy explores India’s growing pains as globalization clashes with centuries of tradition in a country where women are allowed to join a male on a motor scooter, but only if they sit modestly sideways behind him. This tension comes alive in the stories of three women whom Kennedy befriends and chronicles.”  Slate Magazine's XX Blog named it a book of the week. It was a “Hot Read of the Week” at the Daily Beast, which said, “Sideways on a Scooter is as much a sharp social commentary as it is a compelling, humorous travel memoir.”  


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Top: Cover image for the U.S. edition

Bottom: Cover image for the Australian edition. 

The book has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Dutch, and Swedish.

Sideways on a Scooter by Miranda Kennedy
Searching for Women Who Drink Whisky: Life and Love in India (Australian edition cover)