At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Her destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean shortly before the outbreak of the Opium Wars in China. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners on board, from a bankrupt raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a free-spirited 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. The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the exotic backstreets of Canton.
LitLovers – Includes Brief Intro, Author Information, Reviews, and Discussion Questions
Reviews and Articles:
The New York Times - “A Passage from India” by Gaiutra Bahadur
The Guardian (UK) – “Lascars, Sepoys, and Nautch Girls” by James Buchan
All Things Considered – “A Multilingual Voyage, Buoyed by a Sea of Poppies” by Alan Cheuse
BBC News – “Opium Financed British Rule of India” Interview with Amitav Ghosh
BBC News- “Inside the World’s Largest Opium Factory” by Amarnath Tewary
NPR Book Tour - includes web features and podcasts.
Amitav Ghosh talks about Sea of Poppies
If you enjoyed Sea of Poppies, you might like:
The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Cutting for Stone (Book Club Kit) by Abraham Verghese
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