AUTHOR: Arati Kumar-Rao
PUBLISHER: Picador India | Pan Macmillan
BINDING: Paperback


In stock


In the boundless Thar, deemed a ‘wasteland’ by the authorities, miners bulldoze sand dunes guarding life-sustaining water. The Gangetic dolphin, once a thriving apex predator, struggles for survival as its riverine habitat is fragmented by dams and roiled by incessant shipping. Deep in the mangrove forests of the Sunderban, tigers prey on desperate crab-catchers. Encroachments on the Mumbai coastline unleash cataclysmic floods. Along the eroding beaches of Kerala, fishers live in fear of the sea swallowing them whole.

As the spectre of climate change compounds these natural and human-induced disasters, India’s most endangered landscapes are pushed to the precipice of destruction.

Arati Kumar-Rao journeys to these marginlands, listening intently to their inhabitants, paying close attention to each fissure, fold and ripple, as she documents the misguided decisions, wilfully ignored warnings and disregarded evidence that have brought us almost to a point of no return. But the land is still rich in ancient wisdom, and its cracks hold lessons that may yet aid us in undoing centuries of slow violence – so long as one is willing to attune their senses.

Combining enthralling nature writing and journalism with immersive art and photography, Marginlands is an urgent, vital work by a passionate chronicler of our environment.


A tour de force’ – Robert Macfarlane

‘Some of the best environmental writing I have read’ – Amitav Ghosh

‘Brilliant and evocative’ – Pradip Krishen


Arati Kumar-Rao

Arati Kumar-Rao is an environmental photographer, writer, artist and National Geographic Explorer documenting the effects of environmental degradation. Working primarily in the Indian subcontinent, she chronicles anthropogenic changes in landscapes and their fallouts on livelihood, culture and biodiversity. She communicates through still and moving images, soundscapes, longform narratives and art. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Hindu, Guardian, Hindustan Times, Mint and BBC Outside Source, among other outlets.

When not on assignment, she divides her time between the Western Ghats and Bangalore, where she is a happy slave to three rescued indoor cats.

You can read more about her work on her website and follow here on twitter @aratikumarrao

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 24 × 17 × 4 cm









Year Published


Approximate Nett Weight

250 g

Country of Origin

Printed in India