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Ghosh, Amitav

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1956-    ) Indian author now resident in the US, whose sf novel, The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium & Discovery (1992), won the Arthur C Clarke Award. Within a thriller frame, it provides a searching exploration of culture, ethics, and the possibilities of Genetics. Gun Island (2019) hovers slightly uneasily at the edge of the very Near Future, as Climate Change desolates the planet, though in the background of the tale.

Ghosh has also written several non-fantastic novels and works of nonfiction, including The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (2016), a passionately-couched exploration of the implications of the Anthropocene epoch that Homo sapiens has now entered. In this text, though he focuses most negatively on the nonmimetic novel so long and damagingly dominant in the West, he argues that a tale defined as Fantastika cannot describe (or adumbrate) the real world, but comes far from convincing those who are well-read in the literature. His central argument is strongly put: that the "very gestures with which [the realist novel] conjures up reality are actually a concealment of the real", a profound moral and perceptual failure which may be deemed a "great derangement." Ghosh may well be seen in time as one of the more significant Indian writers of his generation. The Nutmeg's Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis (2021) argues that the marriage of capitalism and Imperialism which has imprisoned the world in exploitation scenarios which may be unstoppable, feeds the anthropocene as fatally as the Climate Change which it implemented. Ghosh may well be seen in time as one of the more significant Indian writers of his generation. [GS/JC]

see also: Bengal.

Amitav Ghosh

born Calcutta [now Kolkata], India: 11 July 1956

works (highly selected)



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