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Author: Amitav Ghosh
Translator(s)/Editor: Kadir Zaman
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8172019912
In this Sahitya Akademi Award Winner novel, Amitav Ghosh weaves together personal lives and public events with an art that is rare. The book is ambitious, funny, poignant. He evokes things Indian with an inwardness that is lit and darkened by an intimacy with Elsewhere. Polished and profound, a compelling novel, wistful in its tone, assured in its achieved vision.
It starts with the boy's eccentric cousin Tridib, who gives him worlds to travel in and eyes to see them with long before he leaves Calcutta. His beautiful cousin Ila, who would always break his heart, has been all around the world and seen nothing; while in his imagination he touches the Great Pyramid, she remembers the inconvenient location of the 'Ladies' at Cairo Airport. But this is part of her irresistible charm.
As the boy grows he finds himself sucked into history: his old grandmother stuck in a family feud; the relationship with England that took Tridib and parents to London; their English friends, whose daughter's love for Tridib can only end in tragedy.
Out of an intricate web of memories, relationships and images, Amitav Ghosh builds a vivid story. Its focus is the meaning of political freedom and the force of nationalism, the Shadow Line between people and nations - which is th4e source of terrifying violence.