This remarkable book provides a rare look at the microcosmic world of "hybrid landscapes" – an increasingly popular topic among geographers and environmentalists – by examining chars, which are part-land, part-water, low-lying, sandy masses within the riverbeds in the flood plains of lower Bengal. Throughout Deltaic Bengal in South Asia, chars house people who move around, make a living by adjusting to the river and its changeable moods, and live each day as best as they possibly can.
This allows us to rethink our notions of resilience, vulnerability and adaptation to change. The result is a new way of looking at life. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Gopa Samanta are experts on poverty and water management and Lahiri-Dutt grew up next to the Damodar River, which is part of the subject matter covered in Dancing with the River.
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt is a Fellow in Resource Management in the Asia-Pacific Program at Australian National University. She has published extensively. In 2006, Gopa Samanta joined the University of Burdwan in India.