The Hungry Tide Background

The Hungry Tide Background

The Hungry Tide was published in 2005 and written by Amitav Ghosh, an Indian scholar who received an education from Oxford University and is known for his English writings. Amitav has written nine works, and received multiple awards for his distinguished writing.

The Hungry Tide takes place after the 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean and is set in the Sundarbans, a mangrove forest located between Bangladesh and West Bengal. This story starts with the travel of Kanai Dutt, a wealthy businessman and translator, who comes to visit his Aunt in the Sundarbans, and intends to inquire about a journal written by his deceased uncle that had just recently discovered again. Soon while taking the train towards the Sundarbans, Kanai meets Piya Roy, an Indian-American scientist who came to the Sundarbans to research the rare Irrawady dolphins.

Soon the focus shifts to Piya after the two part company. After Piya reaches the Sundarbans she encounters the local government, who gives her a tough time while she seeks permission to conduct research on the dolphins. Piya soon continues her research with her local team of observers. While searching, Piya meets a local fisherman named Fokir when he rescued her after falling out of the boat. She then decides to continue her research with Fokir on his boat due to the original crew having an excessive focus on her money and expensive equipment. Eventually the Priya returns with Fokir to Lusibari, where Kanai and his Aunt reside. Piya discovers that Fokir's and Kanai's families are friends. After Piya describes her research to Kanai's family, they agree to lend her boats and crews to help. As they are on the expedition, Fokir and Piya decide to split off to explore the rivers in a smaller boat. While they are separate from the main boat, a storm rolls in and, and Kanai and the rest of the crew are forced to leave after waiting for their arrival. Fokir and Piya while stuck in the storm are forced to seek protection in the Forest of Mangroves. And while stranded, Fokir tries to protect Piya, but is killed by debris flying in the wind. Piya however survives and makes it back to town to notify the family of Fokir's death. Traumatized, Piya leaves but returns a month later to raise money for the family of Fokir.

This novel was critically acclaimed for the author's descriptions of the Sundarbans and his ability to draw one into the characters. Also for his ability to seamlessly mend the present with the past through including pieces of Kanai's uncle's journal.

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