On the cover of this fine book is a photo of 10 men rowing a small boat. They’re
looking ahead, perhaps at an oncoming threat. Amitav Ghosh, with prose as his
oar, assumes a similar outlook toward the world, maintaining a steady gaze at an
uncertain future. An Anglophone writer of Bengali origin, he has five novels and
a previous work of nonfiction to his credit. Incendiary Circumstances, released in
hardcover in 2005 and now available in paperback, is his second nonfiction opus.
One could call it ‘The Amitav Ghosh Reader,’ as it collects essays written over a
20-year span for such periodicals as The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation,
Granta, the Kenyon Review and more.
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