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THE SHADOW LINES – Novel, by Amitav Ghosh

He received honorary doctorates at Queens College in New York and the Sorbonne in Paris. Together with Margaret Atwood, he was also a winner of a David Dan Award in 2010. In 2011 he was awarded with the International Grand Prix at the Blue Metropolis Festival in Montreal. Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956. He is a writer, journalist and Indian anthropologist. He grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iran and India. At the age of 13 he left the family to study at Dehradun, then attending St Steven’s College in Delhi. After graduating, during a scholarship anthropology, he continued his studies at Oxford. Before moving to the United States, he returned to Delhi, where he started working as a journalist and anthropologist. Http:// Considered one of the greatest Indian writers, he is the author of novels “The Manuscript Slave”, “The Poppy Sea” and “The Country of the Tides”.

The narrative scenario of “The Shadow Lines” opens in the late 1960’s Calcutta, where Amitav Ghosh’s novel follows the affair of two families (one English and the other Bengali), while their lives intertwine. The narrator traces events – back and forth in time – from the outbreak of the Second World War to the end of the twentieth century, describing the violent years of the Bengal Division. At the beginning of the novel the narrator introduces two branches of his family tree, represented by his grandmother Tha’mma and her sister Mayadebi. Tha’mma is a retired school teacher, practical and rigorous. After experiencing the nightmare of the division of her native region, her main ambition is to bring together the entire family. Their family is of middle class. The narrator admires and adores the son of Mayadebi, Tridib, because of his knowledge of history. “At regular intervals of a few months, Tridib appears at the doorstep of her uncles and cousins. The narrow crossed legs, the sweat-lined face, after the necessary compulsions imposed by the label, rushes directly into the bathroom, driven by the whims of his digestive system.” However, Mayadebi despises the ambition of his son, Tridib. The Shadow Lines was born to give us a story that balances formal ingenuity, heart and mind, creating a new story of weaving and memory.

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