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Elephas Maximus: A Portrait of the Indian Elephant

Stephen Alter (Author)

Elephas maximus, the majestic Asian elephant, is still revered in Indian religion and culture. Yet, unabated ivory poaching conjures up fears of a future when tuskless males may be all that survive, and conservationists are fighting to preserve its endangered habitat as settlements expand. Fascinated by this regal animal and its unique relationship with humankind, Stephen Alter traveled extensively across India to explore its natural home, and its place in history and myth. Alter’s serarch takes him from national parks where he observes elephants in the wild to the annual Sonepur Mela where they are bought and sold, to Kota where they once played a unique role in royal festivals. He charts the elephant in art, religion, folklore and the everyday world of India, bringing to life the complex past and troubled present of this majestic creature while offering hope for its future.

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About the author

Stephen Alter

Stephen Alter is the author of four novels, Neglected Lives, Silk and Steel, The Godchild and Renuka; a memoir All the Way to Heaven; and two travel books, Amritsar to Lahor and Sacred Waters. He is a writer-in-residence at MIT and lives in Reading, Massachusetts.

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Bibliographic information

Title Elephas Maximus: A Portrait of the Indian Elephant
Author Stephen Alter
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0143031740
length xvi+327p., Plates; Notes; Bibliography; 23cm.