Sea of Poppies
by Amitav Ghosh
At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean; its purpose, to fight China’s vicious nineteenth-century Opium Wars. As for the crew, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts.
In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a freespirited French orphan. 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 generations.
The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, the exotic backstreets of Canton. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, that makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive—a masterpiece from one of the world’s finest novelists.
Sea Of Poppies (PB)
by Amitav Ghosh
Sea of Poppies
by Amitav Ghosh
Flood of Fire
by Amitav Ghosh
The stunningly vibrant final novel in the bestselling Ibis Trilogy
It 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 “pours into the market like monsoon flood.” 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 Ghosh’s 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.
River of Smoke
by Amitav Ghosh
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book for 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 Canton’s 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.
Beneath an Indian Sky
by Renita D’Silva
An unforgettable and heart-wrenching story of love, betrayal and family secrets. In colonial India a young woman finds herself faced with an impossible choice, the consequences of which will echo through the generations…
1928. In British-ruled India, headstrong Sita longs to choose her own path, but her only destiny is a good marriage. After a chance meeting with a Crown Prince leads to a match, her family’s status seems secured and she moves into the palace, where peacocks fill the gardens and tapestries adorn the walls. But royal life is far from simple, and her failure to provide an heir makes her position fragile. Soon Sita is on the brink of losing everything, and the only way to save herself could mean betraying her oldest friend…
2000. When Priya’s marriage ends in heartbreak, she flees home to India and the palace where her grandmother, Sita, once reigned as Queen. But as grandmother and granddaughter grow closer, Priya has questions. Why is Sita so reluctant to accept that her royal status ended with Independence? And who is the mysterious woman who waits patiently at the palace gates day after day? Soon Priya uncovers a secret Sita has kept for years – and which will change the shape of her life forever…
A breathtaking journey through India from British rule to Independence and beyond; a world of green hills, cardamom-scented air, and gold thread glinting in the sun, brought to life by Renita D’Silva’s exquisite writing. If you love Kathryn Hughes, Dinah Jefferies or Kristin Hannah, this is the novel for you.
What readers are saying about Beneath an Indian Sky:
‘Wow… I am lost for words… Wonderful, beautiful… Very emotional story of passion, regret… and jealousy… You will fall in love… If I could give this book 100 stars I would.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘My favourite book read this year… I cannot recommend this book highly enough… Taken me off to another world… Made me fall in love… You’re going to LOVE this one.’ Little Miss No Sleep, 5 stars
‘OMG… The story takes on an unexpected, shocking twist… I honestly think this is the author’s best book ever!! It’s just amazing, a rollercoaster of emotions, a kaleidoscope of colours… I actually ended up with tears running down my cheeks… That ending (WOW!) will remain imprinted on my mind for many years… I really enjoyed this book… Simply fantastic!!… Highly recommended!!’ Relax and Read Reviews, 5 stars
‘I loved everything about this book… My heart shattered… You’ll soon forget where you are… Just perfection… Heart-breaking and touching… Will stick with me for a long time… Brilliant.’ Katie’s Book Cave, 5 stars
‘Loved it! An enchanting read… Kept me gripped all the way to the end.’ Joanna Courtney, author of The Chosen Queen
‘Breathtaking, positively breathtaking. As ever it was gorgeous, magical, touching, emotional… I was entranced by the stories of Mary and Sita and barely looked up… Kept me rooted to the page.And the ending!!… A sheer triumph of a novel and one that I didn’t want to end.’ Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the Kim Stone series
‘This was a book I didn’t and couldn’t put down… This is my absolute favourite by Renita so far and I would HUGELY recommend this book to anybody that loves a book that will engage you from page one.’ Best Crime Books and More
‘I couldn’t put down this emotional and heartfelt novel!… One of the best stories that I’ve read this year!’ Loreal’s Books, 5 stars
‘An absolutely fabulous, heart-rending, tear-jerking journey… Highly recommended epic read!’ Relax and Read Reviews
by Amitav Ghosh
by Amitav Ghosh
The novelist and journalist Amitav Ghosh has offered extraordinary firsthand accounts of pivotal world events over the past twenty years. He is an essential voice in forums like The Nation, the New York Times, the New Republic, Granta, and The New Yorker. Incendiary Circumstances brings together the finest of these pieces for the first time–including many never before published in the States–in a compelling chronicle of the turmoil of our times. Incendiary Circumstances begins with Ghosh”s arrival in the Andaman and Nicobar islands just days after the devastation of the 2005 tsunami. We then travel back to September 11, 2001, as Ghosh retrieves his young daughter from school, sick with the knowledge that she must witness the kind of firestorm that has been in the background of his everyday life since childhood. With a prescience born of experience, Ghosh warned decades ago of the dangerous rise of religious extremism. In his travels he has stood on an icy mountaintop on the contested border between India and Pakistan, interviewed Pol Pot”s sister-in-law in Cambodia, shared the elation of Egyptians when Naguib Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize, and stood with his threatened Sikh neighbors through the riots following Indira Gandhi”s assassination. With intelligence and authentic sympathy, he “illuminates the human drama behind the headlines” (Publishers Weekly). Incendiary Circumstances is unparalleled testimony of an era defined by the ravages of politics and nature.
Amitav Ghosh is acclaimed for his political journalism and his travel writing. The New York Times Book Review called his travelogue, In An Antique Land, “remarkable . . . rivals anything by the masters of social realism in modern Egyptian literature.” He is also the best-selling author of four novels, including The Hungry Tide and The Glass Palace, which has been published in eighteen foreign editions. Ghosh has won France”s prestigious Prix Medici Etranger, India”s Sahitya Akademi Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and a Pushcart Prize. Educated in South Asia, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom, Ghosh holds a doctorate in social anthropology from Oxford. He divides his time between Harvard University, where he is a visiting professor, and his homes in Kolkata, India, and Brooklyn, New York.
Praise for Incendiary Circumstances
“This absorbing collection of essays by the novelist, journalist, and travel writer Ghosh . . . covers some two decades of catastrophe and upheaval, from sectarian violence in his native India during the 1980s through the September 11 attacks . . . to the recent Indian Ocean tsunami. With an eye for evocative detail, he illuminates the human dramas behind the headlines: the plight of tsunami refugees trying to rebuild their lives and finances after every bank record and piece of ID is lost to the waves; the courage of ordinary Indians protecting their Sikh neighbors from rampaging Hindu mobs . . . He is equally engaging when he turns from current affairs to literary essays on, say, the international culture of novel reading or the Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali. Written in luminous prose with unusual understanding . . . an insightful look at a chaotic world.”–Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Praise for Amitav Ghosh
“Ghosh is adept at delineating the complicated crosscurrents of emerging national independence movements. He is even more impressive at portraying the different ways in which individuals react to the turmoil, hardship, and disorientation wrought by war.”–Wall Street Journal
“A wonderful hybrid of travel writing, reporting, historical analysis, and memoir – in other words, the kind of piece [Ghosh] writes better than almost anyone else.”–Washington Times
The Hungry Tide
by Amitav Ghosh
In this place of vengeful beauty, the lives of three people from different worlds collide. Piya Roy is a young marine biologist, of Indian descent but stubbornly American, in search of a rare, endangered river dolphin. Her journey begins with a disaster, when she is thrown from a boat into crocodile-infested waters. Rescue comes in the form of a young, illiterate fisherman, Fokir. Although they have no language between them, Piya and Fokir are powerfully drawn to each other, sharing an uncanny instinct for the ways of the sea. Piya engages Fokir to help with her research and finds a translator in Kanai Dutt, a businessman from Delhi whose idealistic aunt and uncle are longtime settlers in the Sundarbans. As the three of them launch into the elaborate backwaters, they are drawn unawares into the hidden undercurrents of this isolated world, where political turmoil exacts a personal toll that is every bit as powerful as the ravaging tide.
Already an international success, The Hungry Tide is a prophetic novel of remarkable insight, beauty, and humanity.