Amitav Ghosh in conversation with Linda Grant
Chaired by Colin Thubron
Born in Calcutta in 1956, Amitav Ghosh is one of the most talented English-language writers to have emerged from India in the past twenty years, and arguably the most international. In novels which include Circle of Reason, winner of the Prix Médicis Etranger, and The Shadow Lines, winner of the Shativa Akademi Award, and in such non-fiction books as In an Antique Land and The Imam and the Indian, he has written about India, Bangladesh, Burma, Egypt, Cambodia, Britain and America. In 2008, he published Sea of Poppies, the first in a trilogy, set in 1838 just before the Opium Wars, and following an old slaving ship on a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean carrying a crew of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. Described as ‘a glorious babel of a novel, in which people speak everything from pidgin and Bhojupuri to the comically mangled English of a Bengali babu and a young Frenchwoman’, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. This month, he publishes its keenly awaited sequel, River of Smoke. He speaks to prize-winning novelist Linda Grant.
Venue: Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House