Amitav Ghosh: The Circle of Reason

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

Ghosh's first novel, The Circle of Reason (1986), follows the fortunes a young weaver, Alu, who is brought up in a Bengal village and, after a false accusation that he is a member of a terrorist group, subsequently flees westwards, first to a fictional Gulf state and later to Algeria. The novel suggests that weaving is a diasporic activity which transcends national origins and unites worlds that have habitually been viewed as separate; and in so doing, it anticipates Ghosh's later contention in In An Antique Land (1992) that the medieval trade-routes functioned as a mobile inter-continental network that was largely unaware of Western Oriental/Occidental bifurcations.

Alu is indisputably the main protagonist, the g…

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Thieme, John. "The Circle of Reason". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 March 2003
[, accessed 30 November 2015.]

Related Groups

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