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HarperCollins India announces the acquisition and forthcoming publication of The Living Mountain: A Fable for Our Times by Amitav Ghosh

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Friday, 23 April 2021 (23:22 IST)
NEW DELHI: The Living Mountain is a new story by Jnanpith winner and internationally renowned author Amitav Ghosh, written during the course of the pandemic. It is a fable for the current times: a cautionary tale of how humans have systematically exploited nature, leading to an environmental collapse. 

HarperCollins Publishers India will publish The Living Mountain as a special standalone edition in January 2022 under its prestigious Fourth Estate imprint. The book will also be published simultaneously in Hindi, and as an ebook and an audiobook.

The Living Mountain is a beautifully told story within the structure of a fable. It is a tale 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 benefits of nature; and the disaster that unfolds as a result.

This is a fable that is especially relevant in a time when everyone is battling a pandemic and also facing a climate catastrophe: both of which have their roots in one’s insufficient understanding of their relationship with nature, and the sustained appropriation and abuse of natural resources.

The Living Mountain is a book of current times, for the current times; it will resonate strongly with readers of all ages.

Here is a glimpse into the fable, The Living Mountain –

‘In my dream,’ said Manasi, ‘I was a young girl, growing up in a valley that was home to a cluster of warring villages, high in the Himalaya. Overlooking our Valley was an immense, snowy mountain, whose peak was almost always wreathed in clouds. The mountain was called Mahaparbat, Great Mountain, and despite our differences, all of us who lived in the Valley revered that mountain: our ancestors had told us that of all the world’s mountains, ours was the most alive; that it would protect us, and look after us - but only on condition that we told stories about it, and sang about it, and danced for it - and always from a distance. For one of the binding laws of the Valley, respected by all our warring villages, was that we were never, on any account, to set foot on the slopes of the Great Mountain.’

“In The Living Mountain, Amitav Ghosh captures the complex dynamics between humans and the natural world within the short span of a few thousand words. It is a relationship that has turned problematic today, because of man’s inadequate understanding of nature, and because of the relentless human endeavour to harness, utilize and exploit natural resources. Written in Amitav Ghosh’s inimitable style, The Living Mountain is a story for our times, underlining at once the enchantment of nature, and the urgent need to establish a lost balance between the natural world and the human one. We at HarperCollins are delighted to be able to bring this wonderful story to readers in India: The Living Mountain will be published under our prestigious Fourth Estate imprint in January 2022”. - Udayan Mitra, Publisher - Literary.

“The Living Mountain was written for an anthology that includes pieces by several leading climate and Earth scientists. The editor of the anthology is the noted historian Julia Adeney Thomas. When I sent her the story she wrote back in response: ‘I want it taught in every school, admired in every publication, sent around the world. I’m simply stunned with amazement and admiration’.

“I am delighted that HarperCollins India is planning to make this possible”, said Amitav Ghosh.

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, In an Antique Land, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, the Ibis Trilogy, The Great Derangement, Gun Island 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 preceding decade. The same year, the Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary honour, was conferred on him, making him the first English-language writer to receive the award. (UNI)

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