A prophetic novel of remarkable insight, beauty, and humanity set in the Sundarbans, an immense labyrinth of tiny islands on the easternmost coast of India.
The Hungry Tide is a very contemporary story of adventure and
unlikely love, identity and history, set in one of the most
fascinating regions on the earth. Off the easternmost coast of
India, in the Bay of Bengal, lies the immense labyrinth of tiny
islands known as the Sundarbans.
For settlers here, life is extremely precarious. Attacks by deadly tigers are common. Unrest and eviction are constant threats. Without warning, at any time, tidal floods rise and surge over the land, leaving devastation in their wake. In this place of vengeful beauty, the lives of three people from different worlds collide. Piya Roy is a young marine biologist, of Indian descent but stubbornly American, in search of a rare, endangered river dolphin.
Her journey begins with a disaster, when she is thrown from a boat into crocodile-infested waters. Rescue comes in the form of a young, illiterate fisherman, Fokir. Although they have no language between them, Piya and Fokir are powerfully drawn to each other, sharing an uncanny instinct for the ways of the sea. Piya engages Fokir to help with her research and finds a translator in Kanai Dutt, a businessman from Delhi whose idealistic aunt and uncle are longtime settlers in the Sundarbans.
As the three of them launch into the elaborate backwaters, they are drawn unawares into the hidden undercurrents of this isolated world, where political turmoil exacts a personal toll that is every bit as powerful as the ravaging tide. Already an international success, The Hungry Tide is a prophetic novel of remarkable insight, beauty, and humanity.
The Tide Country
Kanai spotted her the moment he stepped onto the crowded platform: he was
deceived neither by her close-cropped black hair nor by her clothes, which
were those of a teenage boy loose cotton pants and an oversized white
shirt. Winding unerringly through the snack vendors and tea sellers who were
hawking their wares on the stations platform, his eyes settled on her slim,
shapely figure. Her face was long and narrow, with an elegance of line
markedly at odds with the severity of her haircut. There was no bindi on
forehead and her arms were free of bangles and bracelets, but on one of her
ears was a silver stud, glinting brightly against the sun-deepened darkness of
Kanai liked to think that he had the true connoisseurs ability to both praise and appraise women, and he was intrigued by the way she held herself, by the unaccustomed delineation of her stance. It occurred to him suddenly that perhaps, despite her ...
delta of the Sundarbans is a
harsh area prone to natural
disasters, such as the cyclone
in 1970 which killed 300,000
people. During 'normal' cyclones
the mangrove swamps absorb much
of the first shock which is why
the people of the area do not
build close to the sea.
Despite this a business group have ambitious plans to build an enormous tourism complex in the region, with everything from 'virgin beaches' to shopping centers, restaurants and mini-golf courses.
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