The Tusk That Did the Damage

The Tusk That Did the Damage

Summary

Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Guardian

Shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize

‘One of the most compelling and unusual novels I’ve read this year…. A fascinating story of hunters and observers, old mythical gods and modern politics.’ Sarah Hall, Guardian Books of the Year

When a young elephant is brutally orphaned by poachers, it is only a matter of time before he begins terrorising the countryside, earning his malevolent name from the humans he kills and then tenderly buries with leaves.

Manu, the studious son of a rice farmer, loses his cousin to the Gravedigger and is drawn into the alluring world of ivory hunting.

Emma is working on a documentary set in a Kerala wildlife park with her best friend. Her work leads her to witness the porous boundary between conservation and corruption and she finds herself caught up in her own betrayal.

As the novel hurtles toward its tragic climax, these three storylines fuse into a wrenching meditation on love and revenge, fact and myth, duty and sacrifice. In a feat of audacious imagination and arrestingly beautiful prose, The Tusk That Did the Damage tells an original and heartbreaking story about how we treat nature, and each other.

Reviews

  • One of the most unusual and affecting books... a compulsively readable, devastating novel.
    Jonathan Safran Foer

About the author

Tania James

Tania James’s debut novel Atlas of Unknowns was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian literature. Three stories from her story collection Aerogrammes were finalists for Best American Short Stories 2008 and 2011. From 2011-2012, she was a Fulbright fellow to India living in New Delhi. She now lives in Washington DC.
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