The Sound of Water
Written by a former director of the Indian Ministry of Coal, and loosely based on the disastrous flood at the Bagdihi colliery in 2001, which trapped and killed dozens of miners, The Sound of Water is written with both an insider’s authority and rare literary style. Its suspenseful narrative is presented from three perspectives: The old miner struggling to save himself and his coworkers hundreds of feet below the surface of the earth; the company and government officials charged with managing the rescue efforts, but who are seemingly far more concerned with managing their careers; and, finally, the miners’ families, who stand to gain life-changing sums as a consequence of their losses.
A searing fictional exposé of the appalling conditions that Indian miners endure and a moving story of the spiritual strength and conviction that enables one to survive against the odds, The Sound of Water dares to inaugurate “alternate realism,” a fresh genre very different from the soul-baring autobiographies and epic family sagas that have characterized so much of recent Indian fiction.
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Book Cover Image (jpg): The Sound of Water
Trade Paperback 9781416585695(4.1 MB)
Author Photo (jpg): Sanjay Bahadur
Photo Credit: Sunil Gautam(0.7 MB)
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Reading Group Guide
In a desolate region of India, hundreds of feet below the surface of the earth, the unthinkable happens: a group of workers becomes trapped when a mine floods. In this gripping debut novel, Sanjay Bahadur unfolds their story from three different perspectives: the miners themselves, their families, and company management.
Underground, the eccentric Raimoti, just months from retirement, draws on his years of experience in the hopes of leading himself and his fellow miners to safety. On the surface, family members of the doomed men wait for word of their fate, some with dread and others thinking of the life-changing sum of money they will receive as compensation in the event of a death. Responsibility for the miners’ rescue lies in the hands of company and government officials who are more concerned with how the crisis will affect their careers than they are with saving lives.
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