Nilanjana Roy talks to Amitav Ghosh about his new novel, The Hungry Tide.
The tea has accompanied us to a quiet landing where Ghosh shares a wry amusement at the fate of his books: in India, The Shadow Lines is his best-loved work; in the US, it appears to be In An Antique Land; in Europe, it’s The Calcutta Chromosome, but in the UK, the most successful book has been The Glass Palace. He has, I suggest, a book for every region; and he laughs briefly before looking back at the travails of a writer’s life.
‘You have to believe in the essential validity of what you’re doing, that it’s the most important thing you could possibly do. And these are not easy things to believe,’ he says. ‘Writing is the fiercest, most intense discipline anyone can have. I haven’t been writing for this past month-and-a-half. When I get back, it’ll take six months before I can produce a sentence.’
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