About the book- The first in a trilogy of novels, Sea of Poppies is a stunningly vibrant and intensely human work that Ghosh’s reputation as a master storyteller. At the heart of this epic saga is vast ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean to the Mauritius Islands. As to the people on board, they are a motley array of sailors and storwaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval in the mid- nineteenth century, fate has thrown together a truely diverse cast of Indians and Western, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed village- women, from a mulatto America Freedman to free spirited European orphan. As they sail down the Hooghly and into the sea, their old family ties are washed away, and they view themselves as Jahaj-bhais, or ship-brother, who will build whole new lives for themselves in the remote islands where they are being taken.
About the author- 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 eight novels, The Circle of Reason, in 1986. The first novel in his Ibis trilogy, Sea of Poppies, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He received the Jnanpith Award in 2018.