Incendiary Circumstances: A Chronicle of the Turmoil of our Times

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HMH, Apr 23, 2007 - Literary Collections - 320 pages
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A journalist who “illuminates the human drama behind the headlines” writes about today’s dramatic events, from terrorist attacks to tsunamis (Publishers Weekly).

“An uncannily honest writer,” Amitav Ghosh has published firsthand accounts of pivotal world events in publications including the New York Times, Granta, and the New Yorker (The New York Times Book Review). This volume brings together the finest of these pieces, chronicling the turmoil of our times.
Incendiary Circumstances begins with Ghosh’s arrival in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands just days after the devastation of the 2005 tsunami. We then travel back to September 11, 2001, as Ghosh retrieves his young daughter from school, sick with the knowledge that she must witness the kind of firestorm that has been in the background of his life since childhood.
In his travels, Ghosh has stood on an icy mountaintop on the contested border between India and Pakistan; interviewed Pol Pot’s sister-in-law in Cambodia; shared the elation of Egyptians when Naguib Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize; and stood with his threatened Sikh neighbors through the riots following Indira Gandhi’s assassination. In these pieces, he offers an up-close look at an era defined by the ravages of politics and nature.
“Ghosh is the perfect chronicler of an increasingly globalized world . . . Reading [him] is a mind-expanding experience. Once you’ve finished this book, you’re very likely to press it into your friends’ hands and beg them to read it as well.” —Sunday Oregonian

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INCENDIARY CIRCUMSTANCES: A Chronicle of the Turmoil of Our Times

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Travels in antique—and heavily armed—lands, many of them on a collision course with the American Empire.Calcutta-born novelist (The Hungry Tide, 2005, etc.) and journalist Ghosh opens this ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

A collection of essays. A few are lighter mood pieces; most are substantive and nuanced. Standout essays include 'Countdown' (1998), on the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan; 'The March of ... Read full review


The Town by the Sea
Imperial Temptations
September 11
The Greatest Sorrow Times of Joy Recalled in Wretchedness
The Ghat of the Only World Agha Shahid Ali in Brooklyn
The March of the Novel Through History The Testimony of My Grandfathers Bookcase
The Fundamentalist Challenge
The Ghosts of Mrs Gandhi
An Egyptian in Baghdad
Dancing in Cambodia
The Human Comedy in Cairo
Tibetan Dinner
Four Corners
The Imam and the Indian

Petrofiction The Oil Encounter and the Novel
At Large in Burma

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About the author (2007)

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956 and raised and educated in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iran, Egypt, India, and the United Kingdom, where he received his PhD in social anthropology from Oxford. Acclaimed for fiction, travel writing, and journalism, his books include The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In an Antique Land, and Dancing in Cambodia. Ghosh has won France’s Prix Médici Etranger, India’s prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Pushcart Prize. He now divides his time between Harvard University, where he is a visiting professor, and his homes in India and Brooklyn, New York.

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