The Hungry Tide

May 25, 2005, [MD]

The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh is an amazing book, and highly recommended. I picked it up on the airport, since I knew Ghosh from his In an Antique Land, which we read in anthropology. I liked that book, although I was somewhat sceptical to it’s value as an ethnography (which was why we read it), perhaps I didn’t feel that it was “scientific” enough. However, in The Hungry Tide, he is not trying to be scientific, it’s “only” a novel, but what a novel!

I think part of the reason for my excitement is that I have been quite interested in Bangladesh for some time, after I found out about BRAC (previous post), and I might study Bengali next year (although I fear a timetable collision). The plot takes place in the Sundarbans, an archipelago straddling India and Bangladesh, and includes a marine biologist studying dolphins, a modern businessman from Calcutta, an idealistic colonialist, the ravages of nature, development… I am just outlining some themes (did I mention that it is beautifully and touchingly written), since I want you to read it yourself. Please.

(If you find the issue of Morijchapi interesting, there is apparently scientifical papers about it available.)

Stian Håklev May 25, 2005 Toronto, Canada
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