by Michael Benanav
For forty-four days, Michael Benanav, and American writer and freelance photographer for The New York Times, lived and traveled with the Van Gujjars, a forest-dwelling tribe of nomadic buffalo herders in northern India, on their annual spring migration to the Himalayas. He went to document their traditional way of life, but there was trouble on the trail: the Uttarakhand forest department threatened to block nomadic families from the ancestral summer pastures they relied on for the survival of their herds.
A fascinating account of life on the road with nomads, this book tells the story of one family’s quest to save their buffaloes, and themselves. More than a rare glimpse itno the hidden world of a tribe who rise their lives for their animals, Himalaya Bound offers an intimate picture of the hopes, fears,hardships, and joys of people who wonder if there is still a place for them on this planet. It’s an important exploration of the relationship between humankind and wild lands, and a tale of friendship that bridges two very different cultures.
North American publisher: Pegasus, Fall 2017
Indian publisher: HarperCollins India, 2015
Foreign rights contact: Pegasus
Film/TV rights contact: Rachel Crawford, Wolf Literary Services
Benanav’s portrait of the nomadic Van Gujjar people is compassionate, sensitive, and keenly attuned to the challenges confronted by traditional ways of life around the world. He shows how the modern conservation movement can inadvertently threaten ancient cultures, and he forces us to ask important questions about the relationship between man and nature in India today.”—Akash Kapur, author of India Becoming