Sea of Poppies

By Amitav Ghosh; Phil Gigante (Read by)
(Brilliance Audio, Compact Disc, 9781423373759)

Publication Date: October 2008

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Hardcover, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, MP3 CD, Compact Disc, Compact Disc

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Description
At the heart of this vibrant saga is an immense ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean, its purpose to fight China's vicious nineteenth-century Opium Wars. As for the crew, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a free-spirited French orphan. As their old family ties are washed away, they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races, and generations. The vast sweep of this historical adventure embraces the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the crowded backstreets of Canton. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, that makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive ? a masterpiece from one of the world's finest novelists. "Such is the power of Ghosh's precise, understated prose that one occasionally wishes to turn the pages three at a time, eager to find out where Ghosh's tale is headed." - The Boston Globe



Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

1. Discuss how the relationships between the various classes of people aboard the Ibis change throughout the novel. To what extent does the caste system affect these relationships? Which characters undergo the most significant changes?

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