Smoke and Ashes: Opium's Hidden Histories

Product Details
$32.00  $29.76
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
6.38 X 9.29 X 1.65 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author
Amitav Ghosh is the author of the bestselling Ibis Trilogy, composed of Sea of Poppies (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize), River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire. His other novels include The Circle of Reason, which won the Prix Médicis étranger, and The Glass Palace. He is the author of many works of nonfiction, including The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable and The Nutmeg's Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis. He has received two lifetime achievement awards and five honorary doctorates. In 2018, Ghosh became the first English-language writer to win the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary honor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

"[A] bracing new history of the global opium trade . . . Ghosh's tentacular history embraces opium's entanglement with furniture, architecture, gardens and its role in modern wars. His forensic analysis of opium-factory paintings is particularly fascinating . . . But it's Ghosh's big-picture thinking that has made his nonfiction so influential . . . [A] huge achievement." --Delia Falconer, The New York Times Book Review

"Ghosh's impressive history of the opium industry is an attempt to acknowledge 'the historical agency of botanical matter' . . . As Smoke and Ashes shows in forceful, even thundering, prose, the Boston Brahmins and the East India Company unleashed an evil they could not restrain." --Becca Rothfeld, The Washington Post

"Ghosh's elegant history of the plant's influence is both a tribute to what he calls 'the historical agency of botanical matter' and a reckoning with the imperial past." --The Economist

"Propulsive and revelatory . . . A skilled storyteller, [Ghosh] triumphs in laying out the shame of the British empire's opium trade for all to see." --Anjana Ahuja, Financial Times

"Expansive and thoughtful . . . Smoke and Ashes is a lovely blend of historical writing, travelogue and personal reflection." --Peter Frankopan, The Spectator

"A scintillating and kaleidoscopic vision of opium's role in the past several centuries of global history . . . Exquisitely written and packed with astonishing insight, this is a must-read." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Ghosh's literary prowess supercharges this eye-opening excavation of the full extent of the opium-industrial complex." --Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)