In a coastline as long and diverse as India's, fish inhabit the heart of many worlds— food of course, but also culture, commerce, sport, history and society. Journeying along the edge of the peninsula, Samanth Subramanian reports upon a kaleidoscope of extraordinary stories. In nine essays, Following Fish conducts rich journalistic investigations: among others, of the famed fish treatment for asthmatics in Hyderabad; of the preparation and the process of eating West Bengal's prized hilsa; of the ancient art of building fishing boats in Gujarat; of the fiery cuisine and the singular spirit of Kerala's toddy shops; of the food and the lives of Mumbai's first peoples; of the history of an old Catholic fishing community in Tamil Nadu; of the hunt for the world's fastest fish near Goa.
Throughout his travels, Subramanian observes the cosmopolitanism and diverse influences absorbed by India's coastal societies, the withdrawing of traditional fishermen from their craft, the corresponding growth of fishing as pure and voluminous commerce, and the degradation of waters and beaches from over-fishing. Pulsating with pleasure, adventure and discovery, and tempered by nostalgia and loss, Following Fish speaks as eloquently to the armchair traveler as to lovers of the sea and its lore.