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.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008 'Sea of Poppies boasts a varied collection of characters to love and hate, and provides wonderfully detailed descriptions . . . utterly involving and piles on tension until the very last page' Sunday Times At the heart of this epic saga, set just before the Opium Wars, is an old slaving-ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean, its crew a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed villager, from an evangelical English opium trader to a mulatto American freedman. 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, and the exotic backstreets of China. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, which makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive -- a masterpiece from one of the world's finest novelists. To find out what happens next make sure to read River of Smoke and Flood of Fire.
Most policymakers see counterinsurgency and counternarcotics policy as two sides of the same coin. Stop the flow of drug money, the logic goes, and the insurgency will wither away. But the conventional wisdom is dangerously wrongheaded, as Vanda Felbab-Brown argues in Shooting Up. Counternarcotics campaigns, particularly those focused on eradication, typically fail to bankrupt belligerent groups that rely on the drug trade for financing. Worse, they actually strengthen insurgents by increasing their legitimacy and popular support. Felbab-Brown, a leading expert on drug interdiction efforts and counterinsurgency, draws on interviews and fieldwork in some of the world's most dangerous regions to explain how belligerent groups have become involved in drug trafficking and related activities, including kidnapping, extortion, and smuggling. Shooting Up shows vividly how powerful guerrilla and terrorist organizations — including Peru's Shining Path, the FARC and the paramilitaries in Colombia, and the Taliban in Afghanistan — have learned to exploit illicit markets. In addition, the author explores the interaction between insurgent groups and illicit economies in frequently overlooked settings, such as Northern Ireland, Turkey, and Burma. While aggressive efforts to suppress the drug trade typically backfire, Shooting Up shows that a laissez-faire policy toward illicit crop cultivation can reduce support for the belligerents and, critically, increase cooperation with government intelligence gathering. When combined with interdiction targeting major traffickers, this strategy gives policymakers a better chance of winning both the war against the insurgents and the war on drugs.
The thrilling climax to the Ibis trilogy that began with the phenomenal Booker-shortlisted Sea of Poppies. It is 1839 and tension has been rapidly mounting between China and British India following the crackdown on opium smuggling by Beijing. With no resolution in sight, the colonial government declares war. One of the vessels requisitioned for the attack, the Hind, travels eastwards from Bengal to China, sailing into the midst of the First Opium War. The turbulent voyage brings together a diverse group of travellers, each with their own agenda to pursue. Among them is Kesri Singh, a sepoy in the East India Company who leads a company of Indian sepoys; Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor searching for his lost love, and Shireen Modi, a determined widow en route to China to reclaim her opium-trader husband's wealth and reputation. Flood of Fire follows a varied cast of characters from India to China, through the outbreak of the First Opium War and China's devastating defeat, to Britain's seizure of Hong Kong. Flood of Fire is a thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story - it is nothing short of a masterpiece.
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book for 2011 The Ibis, loaded to its gunwales with a cargo of indentured servants, is in the grip of a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal; among the dozens flailing for survival are Neel, the pampered raja who has been convicted of embezzlement; Paulette, the French orphan masquerading as a deck-hand; and Deeti, the widowed poppy grower fleeing her homeland with her lover, Kalua. The storm also threatens the clipper ship Anahita, groaning with the largest consignment of opium ever to leave India for Canton. And the Redruth, a nursery ship, carries Frederick "Fitcher" Penrose, a horticulturist determined to track down the priceless treasures of China that are hidden in plain sight: its plants that have the power to heal, or beautify, or intoxicate. All will converge in Canton's Fanqui-town, or Foreign Enclave: a tumultuous world unto itself where civilizations clash and sometimes fuse. It is a powder keg awaiting a spark to ignite the Opium Wars. Spectacular coincidences, startling reversals of fortune, and tender love stories abound. But this is much more than an irresistible page-turner. The blind quest for money, the primacy of the drug trade, the concealment of base impulses behind the rhetoric of freedom: in River of Smoke the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries converge, and the result is a consuming historical novel with powerful contemporary resonance. Critics praised Sea of Poppies for its vibrant storytelling, antic humor, and rich narrative scope; now Amitav Ghosh continues the epic that has charmed and compelled readers all over the globe.
Highlighting literature and philosophy's potential impact on economics, health care, bioethics, public policy and theology, this book analyses the heuristic value of fiction. It alerts us to how we risk succumbing to the deceptions of fiction in our everyday lives, because fictional representations constantly feign to be of the real and claim a reality of their own. Philosophy and literature disclose how the substantive sphere of social, economic and medical practice is sometimes driven and shaped by the affect-ridden and subjective. Analysing a wide range of literature-from Augustine, Shakespeare, Spinoza and Deleuze to Kafka, Sylvia Plath, Philip Roth, W. G. Sebald and Jonathan Littell-Michael Mack rethinks ethical attitudes towards the long or eternal life. In so doing he shows how philosophy and literature turn representation against itself to expose the hollowness of theologically grand concepts that govern our secular approach towards ethics, economics and medicine. Philosophy and literature help us resist our current infatuation with numbers and the numerical and contribute towards a future politics that is at once singular and diverse.
The end of the Soviet period, the vast expansion in the power and influence of capital, and recent developments in social and aesthetic theory, have made the work of Hungarian Marxist philosopher and social critic Georg Lukács more vital than ever. The very innovations in literary method that, during the 80s and 90s, marginalized him in the West have now made possible new readings of Lukács, less in thrall to the positions taken by Lukács himself on political and aesthetic matters. What these developments amount to, this book argues, is an opportunity to liberate Lukács's thought from its formal and historical limitations, a possibility that was always inherent in Lukács's own thinking about the paradoxes of form. This collection brings together recent work on Lukács from the fields of Philosophy, Social and Political Thought, Literary and Cultural Studies. Against the odds, Lukács's thought has survived: as a critique of late capitalism, as a guide to the contradictions of modernity, and as a model for a temperament that refuses all accommodation with the way things are.
Space and Conversion in Global Perspective examines conversion in connection with spatial setting, mobility, and interiority. The approach is global and encompasses multiple religions. Conversion emerges as a powerful force of early modern globalization.
This work, in its second edition, continues to be an anthology of critical essays, and deals with fictional as well as non-fictional works of Amitav Ghosh. Though different from each other, some of the essays take up common themes for discussion and offer new insights into Ghosh's works.