The Sound of Water by Sanjay Bahadur
A Novel

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Longlisted for the 2007 Man Asian Prize, a gripping debut novel about an Indian mining disaster as seen from the perspectives of the miners, their families, and the officials charged with rescuing them.

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.

About Sanjay Bahadur

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Sanjay Bahadur has advanced degrees in economics and business administration and has been a member of the Indian Civil Service since 1989. From 2000 to 2004 he was a director in the Indian Ministry of Coal, where he observed the Bagdihi disaster close-up; today he works in Goa, where he is Additional Commissioner of Income Tax. He is hard at work on his second novel, which will be set during the Great Indian Revolt of 1857.
Published June 11, 2009 by Atria Books. 241 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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A former director at the Indian Ministry of Coal explores the effects of a mine collapse from three different perspectives: the coal miners, their families and the mine officials.

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