Amitav Ghosh - Author

About the Author

Amitav Ghosh was born in India and spent his childhood in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and northern India. He was educated in Delhi, Oxford and Egypt and has taught in a number of Indian and American universities. He is the author of a travel book and three novels. His work has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New Yorker, the Observer and the New York Times. He is married with two children and lives in New York.

 

Author photo © Dayanita Singh - Dream Villa Production

Featured books by Amitav Ghosh

Other books by Amitav Ghosh

The Glass Palace

The Glass Palace

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/10/2017

The acclaimed author of The Calcutta Chromosome and The Shadow Lines has burst out on to the big stage with a major saga on that hidden country, Burma. Rajkumar is only another boy, helping on a market stall in the dusty square outside the royal palace, when the British force the Burmese King, Queen and all the Court into exile. He is rescued by the far-seeing Chinese merchant, and with him builds up a logging business in upper Burma. But haunted by his vision of the Royal Family, he journeys to the obscure town in India where they have been exiled. The picture of the tension between the Burmese, the Indian and the British, is excellent. Among the great range of characters are one of the court ladies, Miss Dolly, whom he marries: and the redoubtable Jonakin, part of the British-educated Indian colony, who with her husband has been put in charge of the Burmese exiled court. The story follows the fortunes - rubber estates in Malaya, businesses in Singapore, estates in Burma - which Rajkumar, with his Chinese, British and Burmese relations, friends and associates, builds up - from 1870 through the Second World War to the scattering of the extended family to New York and Thailand, London and Hong Kong in the post-war years.

The Great Derangement Climate Change and the Unthinkable

The Great Derangement Climate Change and the Unthinkable

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/08/2017

Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability--at the level of literature, history, and politics--to grasp the scale and violence of climate change. The extreme nature of today's climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements. Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence--a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer's summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.

The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/06/2017

Fom the author of The Glass Palace, the widely-acclaimed bestseller. The Hungry Tide is a rich, exotic saga set in Calcutta and in the vast archipelago of islands in the Bay of Bengal. An Indian myth says that when the river Ganges first descended from the heavens, the force of the cascade was so great that the earth would have been destroyed if it had not been for the god Shiva, who tamed the torrent by catching it in his dreadlocks. It is only when the Ganges approaches the Bay of Bengal that it frees itself and separates into thousands of wandering strands. The result is the Sundarbans, an immense stretch of mangrove forest, a half-drowned land where the waters of the Himalayas merge with the incoming tides of the sea. It is this vast archipelago of islands that provides the setting for Amitav Ghosh's new novel. In the Sundarbans the tides reach more than 100 miles inland and every day thousands of hectares of forest disappear only to re-emerge hours later. Dense as the mangrove forests are, from a human point of view it is only a little less barren than a desert. There is a terrible, vengeful beauty here, a place teeming with crocodiles, snakes, sharks and man-eating tigers. This is the only place on earth where man is more often prey than predator. And it is into this terrain that an eccentric, wealthy Scotsman named Daniel Hamilton tried to create a utopian society, of all races and religions, and conquer the might of the Sundarbans. In January 2001, a small ship arrives to conduct an ecological survey of this vast but little-known environment, and the scientists on board begin to trace the journeys of the descendants of this society.

Great Derangement

Great Derangement

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 12/07/2016

ARE WE DERANGED? One of India s greatest writers, Amitav Ghosh, argues that future generations may well think so. How else can we explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In this groundbreaking return to non-fiction, Ghosh examines our inability at the level of literature, history and politics to grasp the scale and violence of climate change. The extreme nature of today s climate events makes them peculiarly resistant to the contemporary imagination. In fiction, hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel and are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications. Ghosh suggests that politics, much like literature, has become a matt er of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit culture and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all forms. The Great Derangement serves as a brilliant writer s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.

Flood of Fire Ibis Trilogy Book 3

Flood of Fire Ibis Trilogy Book 3

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/06/2016

The thrilling climax to the Ibis trilogy that began with the phenomenal Booker-shortlisted Sea of Poppies. It is 1839 and tension has been rapidly mounting between China and British India following the crackdown on opium smuggling by Beijing. With no resolution in sight, the colonial government declares war. One of the vessels requisitioned for the attack, the Hind, travels eastwards from Bengal to China, sailing into the midst of the First Opium War. The turbulent voyage brings together a diverse group of travellers, each with their own agenda to pursue. Among them is Kesri Singh, a sepoy in the East India Company who leads a company of Indian sepoys; Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor searching for his lost love, and Shireen Modi, a determined widow en route to China to reclaim her opium-trader husband's wealth and reputation. Flood of Fire follows a varied cast of characters from India to China, through the outbreak of the First Opium War and China's devastating defeat, to Britain's seizure of Hong Kong. Flood of Fire is a thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story - it is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Flood of Fire

Flood of Fire

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 01/06/2015

It is 1839. The British, whose opium exports to China have been blockaded by Beijing, are planning an invasion to force China s hand. Their demands an island base on the Chinese coast from which to continue their trade and a princely sum in compensation for their losses. In Calcutta, Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor, dreams of his lost love and of a way to make his fortunes. His chance comes when the wealthy opium merchant Mr Burnham gives him the job of a lifetime even as his wife provides Zachary with other allures. Heading towards Calcutta is Havildar Kesri with his captain, Neville Mee, to lead a regiment of Indian volunteers in the upcoming war. Alert, battle-hardened, Kesri must turn his ragged, ill-equipped band of men, who know nothing about either China or sailing, into an efficient machine if they are to emerge out of this doomed expedition. In Mumbai, Shireen Modi waits anxiously for news of her opium trader husband, only to discover that he has died mysteriously in Hong Kong and lost all his fortune in the opium blockade. She must sail alone to China as war clouds loom to reclaim his wealth and reputation and in risking everything find a new life for herself again. In Canton, Neel becomes an aide and translator to a senior Chinese official as Beijing begins to prepare for war with Britain. The more he sees, the more worried he becomes for the Chinese have neither the ships nor the artillery to match the British in modern warfare. The future seems clear but do the Chinese know it? Fusing a profound understanding of history with page-turning narration, Flood of Fire the final part of the Ibis Trilogy is nothing short of a masterpiece. This is Amitav Ghosh writing at the height of his powers.

River of Smoke

River of Smoke

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 24/04/2015

September 1838. A storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and three ships the Ibis, the Anahita and the Redruth and those aboard are caught in the whirlwind. River of Smoke follows the fortunes of these men and women to the crowded harbours of China where they struggle to cope with their losses and, for a few, unimaginable freedoms in the alleys and teeming waterways of nineteenth-century Canton. Written on the grand scale of a historical epic, River of Smoke, book two in the Ibis trilogy, will be heralded as a masterpiece of twenty-first-century literature.

The Circle of Reason

The Circle of Reason

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2011

A saga of flight and pursuit, this novel chronicles the adventures of Alu, a young weaver who is wrongly suspected of being a terrorist. Chased from Bengal to Bombay and on through the Persian Gulf to North Africa by a bird-watching police inspector, Alu encounters along the way a cast of characters as various and as colourful as the epithets with which the author adorns them. The reader is drawn into their lives by incidents tender and outrageous and all compellingly told. Ghosh is as natural a weaver of words as Alu is of cloth, deftly interlacing humour and wisdom to produce a narrative tapestry of surpassing beauty.

The Calcutta Chromosome

The Calcutta Chromosome

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2011

In this extraordinary novel, Amitav Ghosh navigates through time and genres to present a unique tale. Beginning at an unspecified time in the future and ranging back to the late nineteenth century, the reader follows the adventures of the enigmatic L. Murugan. An authority on the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir Ronald Ross, who solved the malaria puzzle in Calcutta in 1898, Murugan is in search of the elusive 'Calcutta Chromosome'. With its astonishing range of characters, advanced computer science, religious cults and wonderful portraits of Victorian and contemporary India, The Calcutta Chromosome expands the scope of the novel as we know it, as Amitav Ghosh takes on the avatar of a science thriller writer.

Sea of Poppies Ibis Trilogy Book 1

Sea of Poppies Ibis Trilogy Book 1

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 20/01/2011

At the heart of this epic saga, set just before the Opium Wars, is an old slaving-ship, The Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean, its crew a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed villager, from an evangelical English opium trader to a mulatto American freedman. As their old family ties are washed away they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais or ship-brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races and enerations. The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the exotic backstreets of China. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, which makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive - a masterpiece from one of the world's finest novelists.

The Shadow Lines

The Shadow Lines

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/01/2011

A wide-eyed boy growing up in suburban Calcutta in the 1960s experiences the world through the eyes of others - an intoxicating older cousin, a grandmother who weaves stories from the past and a family in London whose lives are intertwined with his. When a seemingly random act of violence threatens his vision of the world, he begins piecing together events for himself, and in the process unravels secrets with devastating consequences. Set in Calcutta and London and spanning generations from the outbreak of the Second World War to the late twentieth century, The Shadow Lines is a haunting novel from one of the world's greatest writers.

Countdown

Countdown

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 12/03/2010

On 11 May 1998 the Indian government tested five nuclear devices some forty kilometers from Pokaran. Seventeen days later Pakistan tested nuclear devices of its own. About three months after the tests, Amitav Ghosh went to the Pokaran area, after which he visited Kashmir as part of the defense minister s entourage. He also went to the Siachen glacier in the Karakoram Mountains where Indian and Pakistani soldiers have been exchanging fire since 1983. Ghosh then travelled through Pakistan and Nepal. Countdown is partly a result of these journeys and conversations with many hundreds of people of the subcontinent.

Imam and the Indian

Imam and the Indian

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 12/03/2010

The Imam and the Indian is an extensive compilation of Amitav Ghosh's non-fiction writings. Sporadically published between his novels, in magazines, journals, academic books and periodicals, these essays and articles trace the evolution of the ideas that shape his fiction. He explores the connections between past and present, events and memories, people, cultures and countries that have a shared history. Ghosh combines his historical and anthropological bent of mind with his skills of a novelist, to present a collection like no other.

Dancing in Cambodia

Dancing in Cambodia

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 15/02/2010

Through extraordinary first-hand accounts Amitav Ghosh presents a compelling chronicle of the turmoil of our times. `Dancing in Cambodia' recreates the first-ever visit to Europe by a troupe of Cambodian dancers with King Sisowath, in 1906. Ghosh links this historic visit, celebrated by Rodin in a series of sketches, to the more recent history of the Khmer Rouge revolution. 'The Town by the Sea' records his experiences in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands just days after the tsunami; and in 'September 11' he takes us back to that fateful day when he retrieved his young daughter from school in New York, sick with the knowledge that she will be marked by the same kind of tumult that has defined his own life.

Circle Of Reason

Circle Of Reason

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 22/05/2009

Winner of the Prix Medici Etranger Award Following the form of the raga in Indian classical music, Amitav Ghosh slowly builds the tempo of The Circle of Reason. The first part spans several decades, the second unfolds over a few weeks, and the third, like a scherzo, races through a day. Ghosh's debut novel centres on Alu, an orphan enlisted by his foster father as a soldier in his crusade against the forces of myth and unreason. Suspected of terrorism, they are about to be arrested when a tragic accident forces Alu to flee his village. Pursued by a misguided police officer, Alu finds his way through Calcutta to Goa and on to a trawler that runs illegal immigrants to Africa. Tracing Alu's journey across two continents, The Circle of Reason is an exceptional novel by one of India's most celebrated writers in English.

In An Antique Land

In An Antique Land

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 22/05/2009

Packed with anecdote and exuberant detail, In an Antique Land provides magical and intimate insights into Egypt from the Crusades to Operation Desert Storm. It exposes the indistinguishable and intertwining ties that bind together India and Egypt, Hindus and Muslims and Jews. By combining fiction, history, travel writing and anthropology, to create a single seamless work of imagination, Ghosh characteristically makes us rethink the political boundaries that divide the world and the generic boundaries that divide narratives.

Calcutta Chromosome

Calcutta Chromosome

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 22/04/2009

A fascinating and seductive writer!' The Times In this extraordinary novel, Amitav Ghosh navigates through time and genres to present a unique tale. Beginning at an unspecified time in the future and ranging back to the late nineteenth century, the reader follows the adventures of the enigmatic L. Murugan. An authority on the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir Ronald Ross, who solved the malaria puzzle in Calcutta in 1898, Murugan is in search of the elusive 'Calcutta Chromosome'. With its astonishing range of characters, advanced computer science, religious cults and wonderful portraits of Victorian and contemporary India, The Calcutta Chromosome expands the scope of the novel as we know it, as Amitav Ghosh takes on the avatar of a science thriller writer.

Shadow Lines

Shadow Lines

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 22/04/2009

As a young boy, Amitav Ghosh's narrator travels across time through the tales of those around him, traversing the unreliable planes of memory, unmindful of physical, political and chronological borders. But as he grows older, he is haunted by a seemingly random act of violence. Bits and pieces of stories, both half-remembered and imagined, come together in his mind until he arrives at an intricate, interconnected picture of the world where borders and boundaries mean nothing, mere shadow lines that we draw dividing people and nations. Out of a complex web of memories, relationships and images, Amitav Ghosh builds an intensely vivid, funny and moving story. Exposing the idea of the nation state as an illusion, an arbitrary dissection of people, Ghosh depicts the absurd manner in which your home can suddenly become your enemy. Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award.

Glass Palace

Glass Palace

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 06/06/2008

The Glass Palace begins with the shattering of the kingdom of Burma, and tells the story of a people, a fortune, and a family and its fate. It traces the life of Rajkumar, a poor Indian boy, who is lifted on the tides of political and social turmoil to build an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When British soldiers force the royal family out of the glass palace, during the invasion of 1885, he falls in love with Dolly, an attendant at the palace. Years later, unable to forget her, Rajkumar goes in search of his love. Through this brilliant and impassioned story of love and war, Amitav Ghosh presents a ruthless appraisal of the horrors of colonialism and capitalist exploitation.

Hungry Tide

Hungry Tide

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 06/06/2008

Between the sea and the plains of Bengal, on the easternmost coast of India, lies an immense archipelago of islands. Some are vast and some no larger than sandbars; some have lasted through recorded history while others have just washed into being. These are the Sundarbans. Here there are no borders to divide fresh water from salt, river from sea, even land from water. The settlers of the Sundarbans believe that anyone without a pure heart who ventures into the watery labyrinth will never return. Survival is an everyday battle for these people who have managed to strike a delicate balance with nature. But the arrival of Piyali Roy, of Indian parentage but stubbornly American, and of Kanai Dutt, a sophisticated Delhi businessman, threatens to upset this balance. Kanai has returned to the islands on the request of his aunt, a local figure, for the first time since the death of his uncle, a political radical who died mysteriously in the aftermath of a local uprising. When Piya, who is on the track of the rare river dolphins, hires Fokir, an illiterate but proud local man to guide her through the backwaters, Kanai becomes her translator. From this moment, the tide begins to turn. Amitav Ghosh has discovered another new territory, summoning a singular, fascinating place, another world, from its history and myth, and bringing it to life. Yet The Hungry Tide also explores another and far more unknowable jungle: the human spirit. It is a novel that asks at every turn: what man can take the true measure of another?

The Glass Palace

The Glass Palace

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/06/2001

The acclaimed author of `The Calcutta Chromosome' and `The Shadow Lines' has burst out on to the big stage with a major saga on that hidden country, Burma. Rajkumar is only another boy, helping on a market stall in the dusty square outside the royal palace, when the British force the Burmese king, queen and all the court into exile. He is rescued by the far-seeing Chinese merchant, and with him builds up a logging business in upper Burma. But haunted by his vision of the royal family, he journeys to the obscure town in India where they have been exiled. The picture of the tension between the Burmese, the Indian and the British, is excellent. Among the great range of characters are one of the court ladies, Miss Dolly, whom he marries; and the redoubtable Jonakin, part of the British-educated Indian colony, who with her husband has been put in charge of the Burmese exiled court. The story follows the fortunes - rubber estates in Malaya, businesses in Singapore, estates in Burma - which Rajkumar, with his Chinese, British and Burmese relations, friends and associates, builds up - from 1870 through World War II to the scattering of the extended family to New York and Thailand, London and Hong Kong in the post-war years.

Author Info

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http://www.amitavghosh.com/

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