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A classic survival story by one of India's most acclaimed authors, set in a quiet village outside of Bombay about two siblings who struggle to maintain their family's bond in difficult times
Anita Desai’s The Village by the Sea is an exciting and moving story about life in an Indian coastal village and life in the unimaginably big city of Bombay. It is the story of thirteen-year-old Lila and her twelve-year-old brother, Hari. As the book begins, Lila is wading into the sea to bring scarlet hibiscus, sweet-smelling lilies, and butter-yellow allamanda flowers to the sacred rock the fishermen’s wives pray to, just as her mother did before her father had to sell his boat to pay his debts and her mother fell ill. Now Lila and Hari must care for their ailing parents as well as their two younger sisters. Sensing adventure and a chance to save his family, and possibly his village, Hari impulsively joins a group of farmers and fishermen traveling to Bombay to protest the construction of a fertilizer factory that threatens to pollute the coastline and destroy their livelihood. Will the protest succeed? Can Hari survive in the city, and can Lila manage at home without him? Through their own resources, and the kindnesses of strangers, Hari and Lila must find a way to “Adapt! Adapt!” as their ornithologist friend urges, just as the birds and animals must do to survive.
About the Author
Anita Desai is a novelist, short-story writer, and author of children’s books. She was born in Mussoorie, India, and studied at Delhi University. Desai is the author of several novels, including Fire on the Mountain, as well as Clear Light of Day, In Custody, and Fasting, Feasting, each of which was short-listed for the Booker Prize. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and of Girton College, Cambridge and Clare Hall, Cambridge. Desai is the John E. Burchard Professor of Writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"With any luck this reprint will introduce a fresh cohort of readers age 9 and older to Ms. Desai's superb work." —The Wall Street Journal
“Desai’s story-telling skill is as keen as ever, her evocation of Hari is…one of those rare tales that both children and adults can read and enjoy…. Desai tells this story, a fairy-tale almost, in English that is lucid, and evocative of the hopes, the fears, the smells and the sounds of a little fishing village getting ready for greater things… Village is a stylistic triumph that matches the victory of a boy and a girl whose grit pulled them through.” —India Today
"A very powerful story that fully deserves its place as a modern classic." —Andrea Reece, LoveReading4Kids (blog)