Crowded, hot, subject to violent swings in climate, with a government unable or unwilling to face the most vital challenges, the rich and poor increasingly living in worlds apart; for most of the world, this picture is of a possible future. For India, it is the very real present. In this lyrical exploration of life, loss, and survival, Meera Subramanian travels in search of the ordinary people and microenterprises determined to revive India's ravaged natural world: an engineer-turned-farmer brings organic food to Indian plates; villagers resuscitate a river run dry; cook stove designers persist on the quest for a smokeless fire; biologists bring vultures back from the brink of extinction; and in Bihar, one of India's most impoverished states, a bold young woman teaches adolescents the fundamentals of sexual health. While investigating these five environmental challenges, Subramanian discovers the stories that renew hope for a nation with the potential to lead India and the planet into a sustainable and prosperous future.
Meera Subramanian is an award-winning journalist whose work has been published in New York Times, Nature, Virginia Quarterly Review, Orion, and elsewhere. She is an editor for Killing the Buddha and earned her graduate degree in journalism from New York University. Subramanian received a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship for her work on A River Runs Again. She lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.