At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean; its purpose, to fight China’s vicious nineteenth-century Opium Wars. As for the crew, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts.
In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a freespirited French orphan. As their old family ties are washed away, they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship-brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races, and generations.
The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, the exotic backstreets of Canton. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, that makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive—a masterpiece from one of the world’s finest novelists.
About the Author
AMITAV GHOSH is the internationally bestselling author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel The Glass Palace, and the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. He divides his time among Kolkata and Goa, India, and Brooklyn, New York.
Praise for Sea of Poppies…
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year • A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year • A Washington Post Best Book of the Year • An Economist Best Book of the Year
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize"A wonderful book, a large ambitious novel in which extraordinary people come to life and vibrant, exotic places are memorably depicted."--The Rocky Mountain News
"A delight . . . [Ghosh's] descriptions bring a lost world to life."--The Washington Post
“Brilliant...By the book’s stormy and precarious ending, most readers will clutch it like the ship’s rail awaiting, just like Ghosh’s characters, the rest of the voyage to a destination unknown.”--USA Today
"Ghosh's best and most ambitious work yet. . . . Ghosh writes with impeccable control, and with a vivid and sometimes surprising imagination."--The New Yorker
"Ghosh, on behalf of history, is unforgiving, but his novel is also a delight."--Miami Herald
"A storm tossed adventure worthy of Sir Walter Scott."--Vogue
"Amitav Ghosh's new novel speaks in tongues, marvelously capturing the polyglot nature of its characters. . . . Sea of Poppies
is marvelous, its range and authority astonishing."--The Plain Dealer
"Sea of Poppies
is a veritable cauldron of energy intermingling with craft."--Chicago Sun-Times