Amitav Ghosh: The Shadow Lines

(1046 words)
  • John Thieme (University of East Anglia)

Ghosh's second novel, The Shadow Lines (1988), focuses on a very particular personal history – the experience of a single family – as a microcosm for a broader national and international experience. The lives of the narrator's family have been irrevocably changed as a consequence of Bengal's Partition between India and Pakistan at the time of Independence and the subsequent experience of the East Pakistan Civil War of 1971, which led to the creation of Bangladesh. The “shadow lines” of the title are the borders that divide people and, as in all Ghosh's work, one of the main emphases is on the arbitrariness of cartographic demarcations. Towards the end, when members of the family are about to undertake a journey from …

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Thieme, John. "The Shadow Lines". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 January 2003
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Indian Prose Fiction in English
  2. Postcolonial literature - Britain, The Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand