Himalaya Bound by Michael Benanav
One Family's Quest to Save their Animals?And an Ancient Way of Life

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Over the course of the trek, Benanav becomes a contributing member of their party rather than an outside observer. His closeness with the family takes the book beyond the anthropological.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

A gorgeous work of literary journalism that follows a nomadic family’s fraught migration to the high Himalayan plains, as a changing world closes in around them.

Following his vivid account of traveling with one of the last camel caravans on earth in Men of Salt, Michael Benanav now brings us along on a journey with a tribe of forest-dwelling nomads in India. Welcomed into a family of nomadic water buffalo herders, he joins them on their annual spring migration into the Himalayas. More than a glimpse into an endangered culture, this superb adventure explores the relationship between humankind and wild lands, and the dubious effect of environmental conservation on peoples whose lives are inseparably intertwined with the natural world.

The migration Benanav embarked upon was plagued with problems, as government officials threatened to ban this nomadic family―and others in the Van Gujjar tribe―from the high alpine meadows where they had summered for centuries. Faced with the possibility that their beloved buffaloes would starve to death, and that their age-old way of life was doomed, the family charted a risky new course, which would culminating in an astonishing mountain rescue. And Benanav was arrested for documenting the story of their plight.

Intimate and enthralling, Himalaya Bound paints a sublime picture of a rarely-seen world, revealing the hopes and fears, hardships and joys, of a people who wonder if there is still a place for them on this planet.

Laced with stories of tribal cultures from India to Yellowstone, from Jordan to Kenya, Benanav deftly wends through the controversial terrain where Western ways of protecting the environment clash with indigenous understandings of nature. Himalaya Bound celebrates and mourns an ancient way of life, while revealing an unlikely battleground in the fight to save the earth. 

16 pages of color photographs
 

About Michael Benanav

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Published January 2, 2018 by Pegasus Books. 236 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Action & Adventure. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Himalaya Bound
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Sep 28 2017

An involving, often touching story of an admirable people as well as a cautionary tale about the effects of rapid change and counterproductive conservation efforts on traditional societies.

Read Full Review of Himalaya Bound: One Family's ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by SCOTT F. PARKER on Jan 19 2018

Over the course of the trek, Benanav becomes a contributing member of their party rather than an outside observer. His closeness with the family takes the book beyond the anthropological.

Read Full Review of Himalaya Bound: One Family's ... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

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