About the Book: River of Smoke
River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh is a seafaring tale set in 1838. It covers the whole colonial history of the East and problems of the poppy's product-opium. The book opens with a storm. The storm of 1838 blows over the Indian Ocean and the Ibis. A ship carrying a consignment of convicts and laborers from Calcutta to Mauritius is caught up in the whirlwind. As the seas settle, five men - two lascars, two convicts and one passenger have gone missing.
One ship is wrecked but has the storm upended the lives of those aboard the Anahita, an opium carrier heading to Canton? Was it the storm that changed the routes of the ship or were the destinies of the passengers meant to coincide? Unlike the Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh here focuses more on Canton.
River of Smoke chases its storm tossed characters to the crowded harbors of China. Once in China, the ships from Europe and India exchange their cargos of opium for boxes of tea, silk, porcelain and silver. Canton's network of alleys and harbors and islands is represented through various characters but the first one to bring it to life is Bahram Modi, a Parsi opium merchant out of Bombay, who is using the destructive and illegal trade to both emphasize his independence from his wife's overbearing family and to pursue his passion for a young woman who lives on a sampan in the floating city. Other characters to accompany Bahram Modi in his pursuit of love and money are the orphaned amateur botanist Paulette, his estranged half-Chinese son Ah Fatt and a motley collection of others. River of Smoke, the second book in the proposed trilogy dives deep in the opium trade of 1830s.
About the Author: Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh, the renowned Indian-Bengali author was born on July 11, 1956 to Lieutenant Colonel Shailendra Chandra Ghosh, an officer in the British-Indian Army, in Kolkata. He was educated at The Doon School, St. Stephen's College, Delhi and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He has taught at a number of institutions. River of Smoke is the second volume of Ibis Trilogy. His novels brought him fame and international accolades. Some of his famous novels are The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, and Sea of Poppies (2008), the first volume of The Ibis trilogy. The Shadow Lines won the Sahitya Akademi Award, India's most prestigious literary award. Sea of Poppies (2008), the first volume of The Ibis trilogy was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize. He stays in New York with his wife, Deborah Baker, author of the Laura Riding biography In Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding.
|Book:||River of Smoke|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books India|
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