Last seen hereabouts four years ago when he was here for the concluding volume of the Ibis trilogy of novels, Flood of Fire, Amitav Ghosh makes this welcome Seattle return with two books released since that last visit. Most recent, and just released, of these is a novel assured in voice and range, Gun Island (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Not unrelated, the other recent book is a study of catastrophic climate change, and literature’s response, The Great Derangement.
"[Gun Island] is an intellectual romp that traces Bengali folklore, modern human trafficking, and the devastating effects of climate change across generations and countries . . . Ghosh writes with deep intelligence and illuminating clarity about complex issues. This ambitious novel memorably draws connections among history, politics, and mythology." - Publishers Weekly.
“In The Great Derangement, Amitav Ghosh, an important international writer, asked why writers avoid the foremost subject in our lives—climate change. In Gun Island it is unmistakably the central issue. With sweeping exuberant style and extraordinary linguistic facility, Ghosh takes us into a world where desperate refugees trickle through borders like water from melting ice, but where massing animals find no escapes. Old legends and ancient myths take on new meaning. The difficulties of characters in the Sundarbans begin to appear the world over as the climate becomes a forcing element. Our ordinary lives with air travel, cell phones, friends in distant places, smart-mouth teenagers, life insurance, money and investment concerns intersect with forest fire, flooding, storms. This important novel is an account of our current world, the one few writers have had the courage to face.” —Annie Proulx.
Presented by Town Hall Arts & Culture in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company.