Literary Legacies of Lagoons

Lagoons throughout the world are threatened by the capitalistic ambitions of states and international territorial disputes, yet literature on them is missing an intimate portrayal akin to Nan Shepherd’s work on mountains or Roger Deakin’s portrayal of the British Isles.

Traversing the Margins

As a nature writer, Arati Kumar-Rao employs an evocative and lyrical tone, even when she is describing the grim statistics of pollution or climate change. She has an acute sensitivity for the subtle nuances of imperiled landscapes, their brittle beauty and seasonal rhythms.  The text is illuminated with the author’s own artwork, which presents haunting black and white images of the places she visits.

A Story of Survival

Author Zai Whitaker assumes no stand. She narrates with dispassion and sagacity, apportioning neither praise nor blame. It is for the reader to glean the canniness of the protagonists, the inherent wisdom that keeps them alive through the drastically changing circumstances in the story.

Jury Citation for Superpowers on the Shore

Author: Sejal MehtaPublisher: Penguin Viking “Sejal Mehta’s book opens up the rich and fascinating world of intertidal organisms to anyone with the inclination to pause and look at what a receding tide reveals. Day or night, this zone can thrill you with its inhabitants, be it an unexpected octopus on a Mumbai beach or the glowing plankton in the tidal…

Jury Citation for At the Feet of Living Things

Editors: Aparajita Datta, Rohan Arthur, TR Shankar RamanPublisher: HarperCollins India “Conservation is essentially an act of love. A testament to the dedication and passion of a group of scientists to protect the living world around them, At the Feet of Living Things chronicles multiple journeys, varied experiences, and moving self-reflections on what it means to want to conserve biodiversity in a world…

Jury Citation for Birdwatching: A Novel

Author: Stephen AlterPublisher: Aleph Book Company “Stephen Alter’s Birdwatching reads like an unputdownable wartime spy thriller, but it is so much more than that with threads of nature writing, romance and historical fiction woven together dexterously. As the story unfolds, the reader is drawn in, chapter by bewitching chapter, each named after a beautiful bird who features in it, making the…

A Walk Up the Hill: Living with People and Nature

Publisher: Penguin Allen LaneAuthor: Madhav Gadgil Madhav Gadgil was born in Pune in 1942, just as Salim Ali’s superbly illustrated Book of Indian Birds was published. Influenced by his birdwatcher father, he learnt to recognize birds from their pictures even before he could read. He is an unusual combination of a person fascinated by the diversity of the natural world, of the…


Publisher: Pan Macmillan IndiaAuthor: Arati Kumar-Rao In the boundless Thar, deemed a ‘wasteland’ by the authorities, miners bulldoze sand dunes guarding life-sustaining water. The Gangetic dolphin, once a thriving apex predator, struggles for survival as its riverine habitat is fragmented by dams and roiled by incessant shipping. Deep in the mangrove forests of the Sunderban, tigers prey on desperate crab-catchers.…

Pugmarks and Carbon footprints
Pugmarks and Carbon Footprints

Publisher: PenguinAuthor: Rohan Chakravarty Pugmarks and Carbon Footprints is a collection of gag cartoons and comic strips based exclusively on wildlife and nature. Staying true to their theme, the cartoons and comics in the book will speak about wildlife, ecology, interesting trivia about the lives of wild animals, and how the lives of these creatures are entwined with ours. Other than…