The Shadow Lines
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The Shadow Lines

Author: Amitav Ghosh

As a young boy, Amitav Ghosh's narrator travels across time through the tales of those around him, traversing the unreliable planes of memory, unmindful of physical, political and chronological borders. But as he grows older, he is haunted by a seemingly random act of violence. Bits and pieces of stories, both half-remembered and imagined, come together in his mind until he arrives at an intricate, interconnected picture of the world where borders and boundaries mean nothing, mere shadow lines that we draw dividing people and nations. Out of a complex web of memories, relationships and images, Amitav Ghosh builds an intensely vivid, funny and moving story. Exposing the idea of the nation state as an illusion, an arbitrary dissection of people, Ghosh depicts the absurd manner in which your home can suddenly become your enemy. Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award

Book Reviews

The Shadow Lines is, in a word, brilliant. Brilliant in how it has been conceived, brilliant in its execution . . . language, structure and spirit have coalesced to produce a work of lyrical beauty'.......Gopal Gandhi in The Book Review

Ghosh stands out for his sensitive and resonant use of language . . . one is continually brought up short by a felicitous turn of phrase or by the dazzling appositeness of a word . . . Ghosh uses to great effect a matrix of multiple points of view in which memory, mythology and history freely interpenetrate . . . A delight to read'.......Girish Karnad in The Indian Express.

[The Shadow Lines] weaves together personal lives and public events . . . with an art that I think is rare . . . The book is ambitious, funny, poignant. [Ghosh] evokes things Indian with an inwardness that is lit and darkened by an intimacy with Elsewhere'.......A.K. Ramanujan.

A moving book, written with humour, tenderness and an understated intensity . . . achieves a transparent clarity through the deft balancing of a complex set of concerns'.......Meenakshi Mukherjee in India Today

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Published by

Penguin Books India


10 Apr 2009





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Fiction, Fiction





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