Author(s): Amitav Ghosh
The stunningly vibrant final novel in the bestselling Ibis Trilogy
It is 1839 and China has embargoed the trade of opium, yet too much is at stake in the lucrative business and the British Foreign Secretary has ordered the colonial government in India to assemble an expeditionary force for an attack to reinstate the trade. Among those consigned is Kesri Singh, a soldier in the army of the East India Company. He makes his way eastward on the Hind, a transport ship that will carry him from Bengal to Hong Kong.
Along the way, many characters from the Ibis Trilogy come aboard, including Zachary Reid, a young American speculator in opium futures, and Shireen, the widow of an opium merchant whose mysterious death in China has compelled her to seek out his lost son. The Hind docks in Hong Kong just as war breaks out and opium "pours into the market like monsoon flood." From Bombay to Calcutta, from naval engagements to the decks of a hospital ship, among embezzlement, profiteering, and espionage, Amitav Ghosh charts a breathless course through the culminating moment of the British opium trade and vexed colonial history.
With all the verve of the first two novels in the trilogy, Flood of Fire completes Ghosh's unprecedented reenvisioning of the nineteenth-century war on drugs. With remarkable historic vision and a vibrant cast of characters, Ghosh brings the Opium Wars to bear on the contemporary moment with the storytelling that has charmed readers around the world.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2008: a stunningly vibrant novel from Amitav Ghosh.
Winner of British Book Design & Production Award: Literature 2008 and Indiaplaza Golden Quill Readers' Choice Award for Fiction 2009 and Indiaplaza Golden Quill Book Award 2009. Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2008.
'A glorious babel of a novel ! marvellously inventive ! utterly involving ! The next volume cannot come too soon' -- Sunday Times 'A hugely absorbing and enjoyable book. It is observant, intelligent and passionately written ! like the opium that forms its subject, the narrative becomes increasingly addictive as it takes hold' -- William Dalrymple, FT 'A remarkably rich saga' -- Observer 'Each scene is boldly drawn, but it is the sheer energy and verve of Amitav Ghosh's storytelling that binds this ambitious medley' -- Daily Mail
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956. He grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford and published the first of six novels, The Circle of Reason in 1986. He has taught at a number of institutions, most recently Harvard, and written for many publications. He currently divides his time between Calcutta, Goa and Brooklyn, and is writing the next volume of what will become the Ibis Trilogy.