Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Penguin nets Amitav Ghosh

Hear ye! Penguin Books India has acquired Amitav Ghosh’s new work, a trilogy of novels titled (for now) “The Ibis Trilogy”. The first book, Sea of Poppies, will be published in early 2008, with Hindi, Marathi and Malayalam translations to follow.

This is good news indeed – one of India’s top writers tying up with the publishing house that has the best resources at its disposal – and I’m looking forward to the books. But I was also amused by this bit in the press release:

“…this is a work of stunning sweep and destined to become a classic.”

Amit Chaudhuri was right - the old language of literature has been replaced by the language of the marketplace. Time has turned on its head.


  1. Of course Amit C was exactly correct in cautioning how marketing and the market now drives literary agendas. However, I can't help thinking that some aspects of hype have been with us since the dawn of the adjective "literary". For instance, if I remember correctly, a leading critic had pronounced Ulysses a masterpiece even before Joyce had finished writing it !? Although that wasn't the strategy of a publisher or marketing manager-- JJ had neither.

  2. Penguin clinching Amitav Ghosh's trilogy is news. So far Ravi Dayal had ben publishing Amitav's works.