After writing his 2016 book of nonfiction, The Great Derangement, Amitav Ghosh is back this year with a brand-new novel. Published this month, Gun Island marks the author’s return to fiction after Flood of Fire (2015). Flood was the last book of his celebrated Ibis trilogy, preceded by River of Smoke (2011) and Sea of Poppies (2008).
Readers are going to find a unique flavor in Gun Island, as there is a mythical element to the story. The snake-goddess Manasa, after her celebrated row with the Chand Sowdagar, is on the lookout for a gun merchant in the dense, mysterious mangrove forest. Gun Island takes the reader on a fantastical adventure from Los Angeles to Brooklyn to the Sundarbans, blurring the lines of myth and reality.
Amitav Ghosh became the first Indian author writing in English to win the 54th Jnanpith Award last year. Among his many accolades are the Sahitya Akademi Award and Ananda Puraskar for The Shadow Lines (1988) and one of the most important civilian honors of India, the Padma Shri. He had also famously withdrawn his novel The Glass Palace (2000) from the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize as he had found the term “commonwealth” problematic.
Gun Island, a much-anticipated novel for Amitav Ghosh’s fans, has been published by Penguin India.