Author InfoAmitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and northern India. Educated in India and Britain, he now lives in New York. He studied in Delhi, Oxford and Egypt and has taught a number of Indian and American Universities. He is the author of three previous, highly acclaimed novels; The Calcutta Chromosome, the Shadow Lines and The Glass Palace. He is married and lives in New York.
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This is a story that begins in Burma during the end of the 19th century, and ends in the post second world war period.
Summary Of The Book
The novel is sweeping in its setting, ranging from Burma to India to Malaya, over a 40–50 year period, as it traces the lives of many people in different sections of the society, and the impact that the changing times has on them.
A young orphaned boy, Rajkumar, from Bengal, ends up in Mandalay, and tries to find work there. He begins to work as an assistant in a food stall run by a woman named Ma Cho. The restaurant is located near the royal palace.
The British invasion of Burma ends the rule of the royalty. The royal family, the king and queen, their four daughters, and all their retinue, are extradited to India. They are settled into a house in Ratnagiri, a small town near Goa, on India’s west coast.
When the royal family and their retinue are being evacuated by the British, Rajkumar sees Dolly, one of the attendants of the royal family.
He immediately falls in love with her. But she is taken away along with the others, and settled in a remote place in India thousands of miles away.
Meanwhile, Rajkumar befriends a Chinese businessman, Saya John, who becomes a father-figure and mentor to him, and they later become business partners. They eventually become rich by trading in teak wood.
Rajkumar is still in love with Dolly, the girl he saw on the day the royal family was taken away. He decides to find her.
The royal family is adjusting to the new life, and its members are well loved by the local people. Rajkumar manages to establish contact with Dolly, and eventually convinces her to come with him to Burma.
They get married and start a new life. Rajkumar and John expand their business to rubber trade, and they grow richer. But then, the Second World War intervenes. It upsets the lives of everyone, from Rajkumar and Dolly, to the royal family in Ratnagiri.
The families and friends get scattered, some are killed, others are separated, and each one tries to find their way back and reclaim their lost lives and relationships.
The book reflects the sweeping changes in the Burmese society, the impact of colonialism, the mark it leaves on the people who were ruled, the changing political scenario in Europe, the colonial powers weakened by the devastating war, and their loosening grip on their colonies.
About Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh is an Indian author who writes in English.
Other books by Amitav Ghosh include River Of Smoke, Sea of Poppies, and The Hungry Tide.
His writings are mostly epic stories that take place during the colonial period.
Amitav Ghosh was born in 1956 in Calcutta. He received a master’s degree in economics from Delhi University. He later earned a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. His first novel was The Shadow Lines, published in 1986. He has won several awards for his writings, including the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Dan David Prize.
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The Glass Palace - Amitav Ghosh price in India is Rs. 400 on 17th Aug 2022
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