By Amitav Ghosh
A moving saga about the bonds of family and the power of imagination, memory and love, 1988’s The Shadow Lines is as timeless as any classic can be. Told from the point of view of the unnamed narrator, the intertwined lives of three generations of two families are explored, as the narrative flits between time and place, from India to Bangladesh to England between 1939 to 1964.
While questioning the authenticity of international borders and the concept of nationhood, the novel is also a story about growing up. Ghosh’s writing brims with stark beauty and revelatory passages that boil down lofty, political themes to the simple truth of how they affect individuals.