Aleph to publish Feral Dreams by Stephen Alter

Picture Credit: Aleph
Picture Credit: Aleph


More than a century after it was first published, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book remains one of the world’s favourite collections of stories. Mowgli, the human child brought up by wild animals, has imprinted himself on the minds of readers as one of the most-loved literary characters of all time. In this fascinating novel, award-winning author Stephen Alter rakes Mowgli’s story forward in time, transposing the classic jungle tale inro unexplored terrain where animated movies and other adaptations have never gone before.

Here, we see Mowgli being raised by an elephant matriarch, leader of a herd thar lives in a wildlife sancruary that he calls home. Afrer a series of adventures, the story shifts to the discovery of the boy deep in the jungle by forest rangers. The rescued child is delivered to an orphanage run by an American missionary, Mrs Cransron, in a dusty village on the Gangetic plain. Christened Daniel, the boy grows up, rebelling against the restraints of civilization, yearning for the forests he was taken from, and ultimately seeding inro an alien, discontented life as an adult.

Set against the backdrop of a newly independent India, and amongst a host of brilliantly imagined characters, Feral Dreams: Mowgli and His Mothers is at once a heart breaking story of identity, love, and belonging, as it is an exquisite ode to the fast vanishing, beautiful, and sometimes menacing jungles of India.


STEPHEN ALTER is the author of twenty-one books of fiction and non-fiction. He was born in Musssourie, Uttarakhand, and much of his writing focuses on the Himalaya n region, where he continues to live and work. His honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright award. His memoir, Becoming a Mountain: Himalayan Journeys in Search of the Sacred and the Sublime, received the Kekoo Naoroji Award for Himalayan literature in 2015.  His work of fiction, In the jungles of the Night, was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, 2017.  He was writer-in-residence for ten years at MIT and directed the writing program me at the American University in Cairo. He is founding director of the Mussoorie Writers Mou n rain Festival. His most recent book is Wild Himalaya: A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth.

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