Penguin Books India launches The Ibis Trilogy Website: www.theibistrilogy.com

Jun 2011

The Ibis Trilogy website is an entirely animated, painting-like rendition of elements from the trilogy. As you navigate across the homepage, you are visually transported to the mesmerizing, opiate induced dreamland of the first two novels.
Moving from left to right with the bottom tabs, the weather changes from the calm Ganges waters of the Sea of Poppies, to the stormy scene that announces the arrival of River of Smoke. In addition to the visual enchantment, the website also serves as a one-stop reference resource centre for both the books. The Ibis Trilogy section opens with a unique essay by the author, sharing his journey of writing the two books in the epic series. There is also insight into the historical landscape that shaped the backdrop of the trilogy, a fully updated section on the launch events of River of Smoke, audio-visual promos and materials. The website is richly populated with two exclusive sections: Chrestomathy, an in-depth explanation and insight into the lascari language used by the characters of the trilogy. And a delightful Painted Tour: a unique collection of paintings and pictures from the author’s desk that inspired and influenced River of Smoke.
The website is a first of its kind in design, dimension and research by any Indian publisher. Penguin Books India is proud to celebrate its launch along with the launch of the long-awaited second book in the spellbinding Ibis Trilogy: River of Smoke(Hamish Hamilton).
The Ibis Trilogy website will be live for readers to browse through from 16 June
About River of Smoke
Three years after the internationally acclaimed beginning to his masterful epic, the Ibis Trilogy with the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh returns with a spectacular novel depicting the further adventures of those aboard the Ibis. As the action moves to Canton in China in a fascinating build-up to the Opium Wars, the stories of known faces as well as a host of new characters are weaved together into what is one of the greatest works of historical fiction published in recent times.
In September 1838 a storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and the Ibis, a ship carrying a consignment of convicts and indentured labourers from Calcutta to Mauritius, is caught up in the whirlwind. When the seas settle, five men have disappeared—two lascars, two convicts and one of the passengers. Did the same storm upend the fortunes of those aboard the Anahita, an opium carrier heading towards Canton? And what fate befell those aboard the Redruth, a sturdy two-masted brig heading East out of Cornwall? Was it the storm that altered their course or were the destinies of these passengers at the mercy of even more powerful forces?
On the grand scale of an historical epic, River of Smoke follows its storm-tossed characters to the crowded harbours of China. There, despite efforts of the emperor to stop them, ships from Europe and India exchange their cargoes of opium for boxes of tea, silk, porcelain and silver. Among them are Bahram Modi, a wealthy Bombay merchant, his estranged half-Chinese son Ah Fatt, the orphaned amateur botanist Paulette and a motley collection of others in pursuit of romance, riches and a legendary rare flower. All struggle to cope with their losses—and, for some, unimaginable freedoms—in the alleys and crowded waterways of nineteenth-century Canton.
As transporting and mesmerizing as an opiate induced dream, River of Smoke, the second book in Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy, will be heralded as a masterpiece of twenty-first century literature.
About the author
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford, and has taught at a number of institutions. River of Smoke is the second in the Ibis Trilogy, the first of which, the best-selling Sea of Poppies, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2008. Ghosh’s other works include The Circle of Reason, which won the Prix Médicis Étranger Award, The Shadow Lines (Sahitya Akademi Award), In an Antique Land, The Calcutta Chromosome (Arthur C. Clarke Award), Dancing in Cambodia and Other Essays, Countdown, The Glass Palace (Grand Prize for Fiction at the Frankfurt International e-books Awards), The Imam and the Indian and The Hungry Tide (Best work in English Fiction, Hutch Crossword Book Award). In 2007 he was awarded the Grinzane Cavour Prize and in 2010 the Dan David Prize. Amitav Ghosh currently divides his time between Calcutta, Goa and Brooklyn.
For an interview with Amitav Ghosh, excerpt requests
and information on the tour please contact:
Hemali Sodhi at +91 11 46131400/ 98100 08455 or at hemali.sodhi@in.penguingroup.com
Smriti Khanna Mehra at 0 99990 03025 or at smriti.khanna@in.penguingroup.com
Alankrita Srivastava at 0 99537 92550 or at alankrita.srivastava@in.penguingroup.com