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Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh (born 1956), is an Indian-Bengali author and literary critic known for his work in the English language.

Ghosh was born in Kolkata and was educated at The Doon School (where he was a younger contemporary of Vikram Seth); St. Stephen's College, Delhi; Delhi University; and the University of Oxford, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in social anthropology. Apparently Ghosh once showed Seth some of his poetry, prompting Seth to advise him to stick to prose.

Ghosh lives in New York with his wife, Deborah Baker, author of the Laura Riding biography In Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding (1993) and a senior editor at Little, Brown and Company. They have two children, Lila and Nayan. In 1999, Ghosh joined the faculty at Queens College, City University of New York as Distinguished Professor in Comparative Literature. He has also been a visiting professor to the English department of Harvard University since 2005. Ghosh has recently purchased a property in Goa and is returning to India. He is working on a trilogy to be published by Penguin Books India.

Ghosh's latest work of fiction, The Hungry Tide, was published in April 2004. His other novels are The Circle of Reason (1986), The Shadow Lines (1990), The Calcutta Chromosome (1995) and The Glass Palace (2000). The Shadow Lines won the Sahitya Akademi Award, India's most prestigious literary award. The Calcutta Chromosome won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for 1997. Ghosh's fiction is characterised by strong themes that may be somewhat identified with postcolonialism but is difficult to label. His topics are unique and personal; some of his appeal lies in his ability to weave "Indo-nostalgic" elements into more serious themes.

Ghosh has also written In an Antique Land (1992), Dancing in Cambodia, At Large in Burma (1998), Countdown (1999), and The Imam and the Indian (2002, a large collection of essays on different themes such as fundamentalism, history of the novel, Egyptian culture, and literature). He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2007.



 

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