In December 2004 the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated coastal regions of Sri Lanka. Six months later, Michele Ruth Gamburd returned to the village where she had been conducting research for many years and began collecting residents' stories of the disaster and its aftermath: the chaos and loss of the flood itself; the sense of community and leveling of social distinctions as people worked together to recover and regroup; and the local and national politics of foreign aid as the country began to rebuild. In The Golden Wave, Gamburd describes how the catastrophe changed social identities, ecomic dynamics, and political structures.
Michele Ruth Gamburd is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Portland State University. She is author of The Kitchen Spoon's Handle: Transnationalism and Sri Lanka's Migrant Housemaids and Breaking the Ashes: The Culture of Illicit Liquor in Sri Lanka and editor (with Dennis B. McGilvray) of Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka: Ethnic and Regional Dimensions.