Animal’s People, by Indra Sinha
A wonderful piece of storytelling
It was a complete coincidence, but I started to read Animal’s People just a few days before I heard on the news that this week is the 25th anniversary of the Union Carbide chemical factory disaster in Bhopal, India.
Whether or not the book is based on this specific incident, the parallels are striking. A devastating escape of poison gas. Many thousands killed within hours. Thousands more left damaged for life. Contaminated water supplies still blighting lives to this day. Brave people fighting for health, proper compensation and justice.
Written in the first person by Animal, a nineteen year old boy born on the night of the tragedy and instantly crippled, it’s a wonderful piece of storytelling. Fierce, unsentimental, uncompromising … but full of human warmth and spirit despite his own attempts to deny it. You’ll hate what happened. You’ll love Animal.