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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

Gun Island

Gun Island

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/06/2019

Bundook. Gun. A common word, but one which turns Deen Datta's world upside down. A dealer of rare books, Deen is used to a quiet life spent indoors, but as his once-solid beliefs begin to shift, he is forced to set out on an extraordinary journey; one that takes him from India to Los Angeles and Venice via a tangled route through the memories and experiences of those he meets along the way. There is Piya, a fellow Bengali-American who sets his journey in motion; Tipu, an entrepreneurial young man who opens Deen's eyes to the realities of growing up in today's world; Rafi, with his desperate attempt to help someone in need; and Cinta, an old friend who provides the missing link in the story they are all a part of. It is a journey which will upend everything he thought he knew about himself, about the Bengali legends of his childhood and about the world around him. Gun Island is a beautifully realised novel which effortlessly spans space and time. It is the story of a world on the brink, of increasing displacement and unstoppable transition. But it is also a story of hope, of a man whose faith in the world and the future is restored by two remarkable women.

Gun Island

Gun Island

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

Bundook. Gun. A common word, but one which turns Deen Datta's world upside down. A dealer of rare books, Deen is used to a quiet life spent indoors, but as his once-solid beliefs begin to shift, he is forced to set out on an extraordinary journey; one that takes him from India to Los Angeles and Venice via a tangled route through the memories and experiences of those he meets along the way. There is Piya, a fellow Bengali-American who sets his journey in motion; Tipu, an entrepreneurial young man who opens Deen's eyes to the realities of growing up in today's world; Rafi, with his desperate attempt to help someone in need; and Cinta, an old friend who provides the missing link in the story they are all a part of. It is a journey which will upend everything he thought he knew about himself, about the Bengali legends of his childhood and about the world around him. Gun Island is a beautifully realised novel which effortlessly spans space and time. It is the story of a world on the brink, of increasing displacement and unstoppable transition. But it is also a story of hope, of a man whose faith in the world and the future is restored by two remarkable women.

The Glass Palace

The Glass Palace

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback / softback 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 / softback 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 / softback 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

Flood of Fire

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 04/08/2015

The stunningly vibrant final novel in the bestselling Ibis TrilogyIt is 1839 and China has embargoed the trade of opium, yet too much is at stake in the lucrative business and the British Foreign Secretary has ordered the colonial government in India to assemble an expeditionary force for an attack to reinstate the trade. Among those consigned is Kesri Singh, a soldier in the army of the East India Company. He makes his way eastward on the Hind, a transport ship that will carry him from Bengal to Hong Kong.Along the way, many characters from the Ibis Trilogy come aboard, including Zachary Reid, a young American speculator in opium futures, and Shireen, the widow of an opium merchant whose mysterious death in China has compelled her to seek out his lost son. The Hind docks in Hong Kong just as war breaks out and opium "e;pours into the market like monsoon flood."e; From Bombay to Calcutta, from naval engagements to the decks of a hospital ship, among embezzlement, profiteering, and espionage, Amitav Ghosh charts a breathless course through the culminating moment of the British opium trade and vexed colonial history.With all the verve of the first two novels in the trilogy, Flood of Fire completes Ghoshs unprecedented reenvisioning of the nineteenth-century war on drugs. With remarkable historic vision and a vibrant cast of characters, Ghosh brings the Opium Wars to bear on the contemporary moment with the storytelling that has charmed readers around the world.

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.

River of Smoke

River of Smoke

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 27/09/2011

The Ibis, loaded to its gunwales with a cargo of indentured servants, is in the grip of a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal; among the dozens flailing for survival are Neel, the pampered raja who has been convicted of embezzlement; Paulette, the French orphan masquerading as a deck-hand; and Deeti, the widowed poppy grower fleeing her homeland with her lover, Kalua. The storm also threatens the clipper ship Anahita, groaning with the largest consignment of opium ever to leave India for Canton. And the Redruth, a nursery ship, carries Frederick Fitcher Penrose, a horticulturist determined to track down the priceless treasures of China that are hidden in plain sight: its plants that have the power to heal, or beautify, or intoxicate. All will converge in Cantons Fanqui-town, or Foreign Enclave: a tumultuous world unto itself where civilizations clash and sometimes fuse. It is a powder keg awaiting a spark to ignite the Opium Wars. Spectacular coincidences, startling reversals of fortune, and tender love stories abound. But this is much more than an irresistible page-turner. The blind quest for money, the primacy of the drug trade, the concealment of base impulses behind the rhetoric of freedom: in River of Smoke the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries converge, and the result is a consuming historical novel with powerful contemporary resonance. Critics praised Sea of Poppies for its vibrant storytelling, antic humor, and rich narrative scope; now Amitav Ghosh continues the epic that has charmed and compelled readers all over the globe. PRAISE FOR River of SmokeOn one level, [River of Smoke] is a remarkable feat of research, bringing alive the hybrid customs of food and dress and the competing philosophies of the period with intimate precision; on another it is a subversive act of empathy, viewing a whole panorama of world history from the wrong end of the telescope. The real trick, though, is that it is also fabulously entertaining. Tim Adams, The Observer (London)Eloquent . . . Fascinating . . . [River of Smokes] strength lies in how thoroughly Ghosh fills out his research with his novelistic fantasy, seduced by each new situation that presents itself and each new character, so that at their best the scenes read with a sensual freshness as if they were happening now. Tessa Hadley, The Guardian[This] vast book has a Dickensian sweep of characters, high- and low-life intermingling . . . Ghosh conjures up a thrilling sense of place. The Economist

The Circle of Reason

The Circle of Reason

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback / softback 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.

Circle of Reason

Circle of Reason

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: eBook Release Date: 15/02/2011

Amitav Ghoshs extraordinary first novel makes a claim on literary turf held by Gabriel Garca Mrquez and Salman Rushdie. In a vivid and magical story, The Circle of Reason traces the misadventures of Alu, a young master weaver in a small Bengali village who is falsely accused of terrorism. Alu flees his home, traveling through Bombay to the Persian Gulf to North Africa with a bird-watching policeman in pursuit. A remarkable storyteller, a Scheherezade effortlessly spinning tales within tales, the possessor of a strong narrative voice quite like no other. NewsdayGhoshs writing soars, producing electric images. Baltimore Sun

The Calcutta Chromosome

The Calcutta Chromosome

Author: Amitav Ghosh Format: Paperback / softback 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.

Author Info

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https://www.amitavghosh.com/

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