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The Living Mountain Hardcover – 12 May 2022
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A new story from internationally renowned author Amitav Ghosh, The Living Mountain is a cautionary tale of how we have systematically exploited nature, leading to an environmental collapse.
Recounted as a dream, this is a fable about Mahaparbat, the Living Mountain; the indigenous valley dwellers who live and prosper in its shelter; the assault on the mountain for commercial benefit by the Anthropoi, humans whose sole aim is to reap the bounty of nature; and the disaster that unfolds as a result.
The Living Mountain is especially relevant today when we have been battling a pandemic and are facing a climate catastrophe: both of which are products of our insufficient understanding of mankind's relationship with nature, and our sustained appropriation and abuse of natural resources. This is a book of our times, for our times, and it will resonate strongly with readers of all ages.
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About the Author
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956, and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; he studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria. He is the author of several acclaimed works of fiction and non-fiction including The Shadow Lines, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, the Ibis Trilogy, Gun Island, The Great Derangement, The Nutmeg's Curse and Jungle Nama.
Amitav Ghosh's work has been translated into more than thirty languages. His essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic and the New York Times. He has been awarded and honoured across the world for his work.In 2019 Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the most important global thinkers of the past decade. The same year, the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary honour, was conferred on him: he was the first English-language writer to receive it.
- Publisher : Fourth Estate India (12 May 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 48 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9354898874
- ISBN-13 : 978-9354898877
- Item Weight : 110 g
- Dimensions : 20.3 x 25.4 x 4.7 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in India on 6 June 2022
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It warns us of impending disaster if we do not treat our environment with the care and respect that it deserves.
Well written and interesting.
It is a small book and can be finished in a single sitting. The story is written very simplistically yet packs so much into it. Environmental degradation, Colonialism, Capitalism, and overarching greed all ride side by side in this story. Ghosh has said that, " Climate change is entirely rooted in colonialism and capitalism. Colonialism creates the conditions under which certain kinds of capitalism flourish. It treats Earth as something from which you extract. It creates the sole extracting model of economy. And that is fundamentally the root cause behind all of this".
In one of his interviews about the book, Ghosh had quoted from Gandhiji who wrote in 1928 that " God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the West. If an entire nation of 300 millions(sic) took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts". He also says that the" universalist claims of industrial civilization were never anything but delusions, it is now clear that a consumerist mode of existence quickly becomes unsustainable if adopted by a sufficient number".
There still remains much to be heeded; otherwise, as Ghosh succinctly puts it, the "Earth will survive. It's really us who will suffer unimaginable pain".
Ghosh wrote about a simple fable, a living mountain, villagers, and the invaders. These all were given names, in the very beginning I felt like I have been thrust to sit beside my grandmother and I am barely 10 years old. Reading this made me nostalgic.
While reading this book, I became nostalgic and revisited my younger self. But as I finished it, I realize the meaning it imparted to me. Ghosh placidly put that meaning in the story for his readers to observe on their own.
He talked metaphorically about the current climate crisis and its upcoming impact. He beautifully framed the modern developers who blame it all on natural forces, and traditional ones who blame human factors for these drastic changes, and he portrays a condition of both of them joining up in long run. Because individually they are persistent in highlighting their reason, despite focusing on what they are actually arguing about.
A very short, impactful read. After reading this you will be nostalgic, aware, and inspired to do your part.
It's a lesson we must all learn, especially as we forget the beauty and power and magic of nature.