Following Fish: One Man’s Journey into the Food and Culture of the Indian Coast

Samanth Subramanian. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-06973-3
Traveling alone, Subramanian, a freelance writer based in New Delhi, collects the stories of fish vendors, boat builders, restaurant owners, fishers, and toddy shop owners from numerous towns along India’s extensive coast. The journalist explores how fish have influenced culture, history, business, sports, and culinary traditions along the Indian coast. His curiosity leads him to investigate a diverse range of topics, including the best time to eat the hilsa fish; a government-supported faith healing treatment of swallowing live fish, called the Gould treatment; and finding the perfect fried fish coated in spices and semolina in a region possessing a “particularly complex strain of cuisine.” While on the hunt for the fastest fish in the ocean, Subramanian delves into the extraordinary attributes of the sailfish. He explores how human greed has fouled the oceans and how professionals, sport fishers, and tourists have altered life along India’s coasts: “In a common paradox, traditional fishing families were moving away from their trade, and yet harbors and ports were crammed past capacity with motorized fishing boats and trawlers.” This memorable travelogue should entice anyone remotely interested in the culture and food ways of coastal India. This is a superb guide to a rapidly changing region of South Asia. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 05/10/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-4668-7873-0
Paperback - 182 pages - 978-0-14-342994-4
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