Amitav Ghosh is an award-winning writer of such acclaimed works as The Circle of Reason and the Ibis trilogy. In this conversation with Meghnad S at NL Recess he discusses his upcoming ecological fable, Jungle Nama.
Set in the Sunderbans, Bengal, and based on local folklore, Jungle Nama has a strong emphasis on the environment. Why? “Modern literature has become so shut off from the natural world and I think that is actually creating a huge disaster for the modern world and made us insensitive to our surroundings,” Ghosh explains.
He talks about the evident effects of climate change in the Sunderbans, and the natural disasters that have taken place in and around it. The disasters don’t always take lives, but they are devastating nonetheless. “Even though lives are saved,” he explains, “livelihoods are very badly affected.”
Meghnad asks Ghosh about the tedious process of writing. The author observes that writing as a skill develops with practice like any other. He also remarks in this context that “the second book is always the hardest” for an author.
The conversation also touches upon the subjects of climate migration, ubiquitousness of Bengalis, and much more.
Text by Salil Ahuja.
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