Books: Incendiary Circumstances

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
Incendiary Circumstances
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Category:Essays, Books, Fiction & Literature, Travel & Adventure, Essays & Memoirs, History, Military
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