Biography of Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh was born on July 11, 1956 in Kolkata, also spelled Calcutta, India. Though Indian-born, Ghosh also lived in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Iran as a child due to his father's career as a diplomat. He received an undergraduate degree as well as a master's degree from the University of Delhi, then attended Oxford, where he received a Ph.D. in social anthropology in 1982. Ghosh has taught at the University of Delhi, the American University in Cairo, Columbia University, Queens College, and Harvard University, but now writes full-time, working in both the United States and India.

His first novel, The Circle of Reason, was published in 1986, four years after he received his doctorate. Many of his novels are historical fiction set in South Asia, though The Hungry Tide is set in contemporary times. He is perhaps best known for his novel The Glass Palace, published in 2000, which won several awards and has been translated into more than 25 languages. Though the novel was a finalist for the 2001 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Ghosh withdrew it from consideration in protest of the award's English language requirement. In addition to nine novels, Ghosh has also written several works of nonfiction.

In addition to many foreign awards, Ghosh has won several awards in his native India. In 2018, he was given the Jnanpith award, making him the first English-language Indian writer to receive the award. He was also awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government, the nation's fourth-highest civilian honor.


Study Guides on Works by Amitav Ghosh

Written by Indian writer Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable tackles climate change head-on. Specifically, it details 1) the stories of how climate change has affected specific areas of the world and its people,...

The Hungry Tide was published in 2005 and written by Amitav Ghosh (born 1956), an Indian writer known for his English-language novels. Ghosh has written nine novels, and has received multiple awards.

The Hungry Tide is set in the Sundarbans, a...

Sea of Poppies is a 2008 novel written by the Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh. The story is set right before the First Opium War, next to the Ganges River. It is commonly mentioned throughout the novel how similar the Ganges River is the Nile River,...

Published in 1988, The Shadow Lines is a novel by award-winning Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh. The novel, second of a three-part series, is written to capture the thoughts and ideas of many different people, constantly switching views and...