Following Fish in the Guardian
In his review, Tabish Khair calls Following Fish “the kind of book that literate tourists to India should get hooked on”:
For once, we cannot blame Europeans for this lopsided perception. Even when it comes to ancient Buddhist Chinese travel narratives, going back a couple of millennia, the travellers who have “survived” in records are the ones who came by land, though we know that much of this travel also took place by sea. Visible accounts of the later Muslim phase show a similar bias in favour of land, even though sea routes were vital to Arab trade and migration. That Subramanian’s book runs against the grain of writing about India is to be welcomed.
It also presents fascinating encounters, such as those with the Hyderabad family that has, for generations, offered a popular cure for asthma that involves swallowing a live murrel fish. And perhaps my favourite chapter is Subramanian’s account of toddy shops (and their volcanic fish cuisine) in Kerala.