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Rare find

The Coffer Dams by Kamala Markandaya || First UK Edition 1969


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  • Vintage from the 1960s
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This first UK edition of The Coffer Dams by Kamala Markandaya was published by Hamish Hamilton in 1969.

The Details:
The book is in very good condition. Unclipped. Owner's name stamped onto front endpage. Dust jacket in very good condition.

The Story:
Clinton, founder and head of a firm of international construction engineers, arrives in India to build a dam, bringing with him his young wife, Helen, and a strong team of aides and skilled men. They are faced with a formidable project, which involves working in daunting mountain and jungle terrain, within a time schedule dictated by the extreme tropical weather. Inevitable setbacks occur; accidents and friction among the mixed labour force present further complications. But to Clinton the building of the dam is more than a challenge; it is an obsession—not, however, shared by Helen.

Appalled by her husband’s concern with structures rather than with men, she turns to the local Indian tribesmen, finding in them the human values she finds lacking in the British camp. With relations between the Clintons becoming increasingly raw-edged, the first rains fall and, as the torrents sweep the valley and the level of the river rises, so does the tension in the beleaguered camp. The vital question looms: to breach the coffer dams, or allow them to stand, thereby placing the lives of the tribesmen in jeopardy. It is a fundamental question that splits the camp exposing the lingering prejudices of a bygone colonial era. (goodreads)

The Author:
Pseudonym used by Kamala Purnaiya Taylor, an Indian novelist and journalist. A native of Mysore, India, Markandaya was a graduate of Madras University, and afterward published several short stories in Indian newspapers. After India declared its independence, Markandaya moved to Britain, though she still labeled herself an Indian expatriate long afterward. (goodreads)


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01-14 Feb

27 Jan

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30 Jan-01 Feb

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01-14 Feb

Estimated to arrive at your doorstep 01-14 Feb!

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Marianne de Pierres

Marianne de Pierres

Owner of LivreEclectica

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8 shop reviews

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Book in excellent condition. It was shipped right away and Marianne sent me messages with updates. Highly recommend buying from her store!

Response from Marianne de Pierres

Thank you, Dee. So glad you are happy with your purchase :)

Purchased item: 

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Dee Blankenship 23 Oct, 2022

5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic customer service and the product is excellent!!

vito2167 16 Dec, 2022

5 out of 5 stars

Item as pictured and delivery quick and easy. Thanks so much. Great seller!

Marcus 03 May, 2022

5 out of 5 stars

I ordered this book for a birthday present but wasn’t going to be home for the initial delivery date. I contacted Marianne, who kindly offered to hold off on posting the book until I was home. When the book arrived it was also lovingly wrapped which was an unexpected surprise and much appreciated. Not only a vintage book to enjoy but a lovely experience as well. Thanks again.

Response from Marianne de Pierres

Thanks for your lovely review, Vicki!

Vicki Ludwig 04 Dec, 2022

Listed on 27 Nov, 2022