Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Glass Palace]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Glass Palace]

Article excerpt


by Amitav Ghosh

(HarperCollins, ISBN 0-00-226102-2)

[Graph Not Transcribed]

Amitav Ghosh's fourth novel is a vast panorama that spans three generations of interlinked Indian and Burmese families and three parts of the British Empire. The action is set in the towns and cities along the great Irrawaddy River and in what Ghosh describes as 'that tidewater stretch of coast where Burma and India collide in a whirlpool of unease'.

The book begins in 1885 as the British seize Mandalay and the remaining independent portions of Burma and force Thebaw, the last Burmese king, into exile. Witness to the ragged retreat of the once-glittering court is Rajkumar, a stateless orphan who aids the escape of Dolly, one of the Queen's maids. The British strengthen their grip on the country and Rajkumar grows rich trading hardwood and rubber. …

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