Harman Writer-In-Residence, Spring 2016
Amitav Ghosh is the author of the bestselling The Ibis Trilogy; Flood of Fire, Sea of Poppies, and River of Smoke. Sea of Poppies was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008 and awarded the Crossword Book Prize and the India Plaza Golden Quill Award. Ghosh is also the author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace and The Hungry Tide.
Born in Calcutta, Ghosh grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria. Ghosh’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and he has served on the Jury of the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland) and the Venice Film Festival (2001). In January 2007 he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest honors, by the President of India.
Ghosh’s essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New Republic and The New York Times. He has taught in many universities in India and the U.S., including Delhi University, Columbia, Queens College and Harvard. In 2010, Ghosh was awarded honorary doctorates by Queens College, New York, and the Sorbonne, Paris.
An excerpt from Flood of Fire
“The next day the Hind’s passengers woke to find themselves in a stretch of water that seemed not quite of this earth. The colour of the sea had turned from deep blue to iridiscent turquoise, and hundreds of craggy islets had appeared, rising out of the depths like dragon’s teeth. Many of these outcrops of rock were ashen in colour, with flinty ridges; most were edged by sheer cliffs to which clung stunted trees of fantastically gnarled shapes. Every now and then, from the lee of one of these islands, an improbable-looking vessel would appear – sometimes a high-sterned fishing boat, sometimes a junk with matted sails, or a galleon-like lorcha that seemed to belong to another age.
Standing by the binnacle Mr Doughty raised a fingertip and turned it in a north-easterly direction. ‘That over there, is the island of Hong Kong!’”
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 5:45 pm
A reading and conversation with Amitav Ghosh in the Asriel and Marie Rackow Conference Room, Room 750, Information and Technology Building, Baruch College.
*Photo credit: Glenda Hydler