The Shadow Lines: A Novel

By Amitav Ghosh

From the acclaimed writer of Sea of Poppies, a unique weaving historical past and reminiscence jointly to create “a infrequent paintings that balances formal ingenuity, middle, and brain” (New Republic)

 

Opening in Calcutta within the Nineteen Sixties, Amitav Ghosh's radiant moment novel follows families—one English, one Bengali—as their lives intertwine in tragic and comedian methods. The narrator, Indian born and English trained, lines occasions backward and forward in time, from the outbreak of global struggle II to the past due 20th century, via years of Bengali partition and violence, watching the ways that political occasions invade deepest lives.

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I needed to count number the years out on my arms. The riots of 1964, I stated. Their faces went slowly clean, they usually grew to become to examine one another. What have been the riots of 1964? Malik stated with a wondered frown. i may inform that he particularly had no thought what i used to be speaking approximately. I became to the others and cried: Don’t you consider? They seemed away in embarrassment, shaking their heads. It struck me then that they have been all Delhi humans; that i used to be the one individual there who had grown up in Calcutta. definitely you take into accout, I acknowledged. there have been negative riots in Calcutta in 1964. I see, stated Malik. What occurred? I opened my mouth to respond to and located I had not anything to assert. All i'll have advised them approximately was once of the sound of voices operating earlier the partitions of my institution, and of a glimpse of a mob in Park Circus. The silent terror that surrounded my reminiscence of these occasions, and my trust of their value, appeared laughably out of share to these trivial memories. there has been a rebel, I acknowledged helplessly. There are riots forever, Malik acknowledged. This used to be a poor revolt, I acknowledged. All riots are negative, Malik acknowledged. however it should have been an area factor. poor or now not, it’s rarely corresponding to a battle. yet don’t you keep in mind? I acknowledged. Didn’t you examine it or pay attention approximately it? finally, the struggle with China didn’t take place in your doorstep, yet you do not forget that. absolutely you consider – you need to have in mind? Regretfully, they shook their heads and blew out clouds of cigarette smoke. I stood up and tapped Malik at the shoulder. i used to be decided now that i wouldn't enable my prior vanish with no hint; i used to be made up our minds to cajole them of its value. include me, I acknowledged. Let’s pass into the library and lookup the newspaper documents for 1964. I’ll express you. He grinned on the others and gulped down the remainder of his tea. alright, he acknowledged. Let’s move. We went into the quiet, air-conditioned gloom of the library and made our method to the cabinets on the again the place the sure volumes of previous newspapers have been saved. The volumes of the newspaper i wished – a well known Calcutta day-by-day – have been stacked alongside the 3rd row of cabinets. there have been 4 big volumes for 1964. Do you have in mind the date? Malik acknowledged. or maybe the month? I shook my head. No, I stated. I don’t have in mind. good, we can’t glance through all of those at random, he acknowledged, nodding on the 4 volumes. it is going to take us days. Then what lets do? I stated. possibly there’ll be a connection with it in a booklet or anything, he steered. And what if we can’t locate the appropriate e-book? I stated. Then, Malik stated patiently, we’ll need to imagine that you simply imagined the whole lot. He grew to become and walked off in the direction of a row of cabinets. Malik knew that library particularly good; he’d been studying something or one other there for a number of years. He stopped at a shelf and pointed. It was once the part at the battle of 1962. there have been complete cabinets of books at the warfare – histories, political analyses, memoirs, tracts – weighty testimony to the eloquence of battle. He mentioned one other set of cabinets, smiling generally: it used to be the part at the 1965 warfare with Pakistan.

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