Amitav Ghosh’s new collection of essays, Incendiary Circumstances, receives a rave review from Time magazine, which calls it, ” sober and highly dignified.”
How to be true to one’s divided inheritance has always been his driving concern.
In the collection of reports from troubled places assembled in Incendiary Circumstances, Ghosh begins to find an answer in everyday humanity and its resilience. Faced by those rioters in Delhi in 1984, some women stood up to them and, miraculously, reversed the tide of violence. Following the destruction of their country by the Khmer Rouge, a handful of survivors in Cambodia in 1981 put on a dance performance, piecing their lives together like “rag pickers.” Writers have to be solitaries, Ghosh recalls V.S. Naipaul saying, and yet, he seems to feel, to be useful they have to be participants, too.