Globalization in the 19th century wasn’t gentle, but it sure was exotic. Ships at mast and crews from all over. Cutlass and cannon, silk and slaves, blood and glory.
And on the fabled seas between India and China, opium. Mountains of opium. The banks of the Ganges planted for miles in poppy. The wharves of Calcutta surging with dark opium for the dens of China.
In his epic new novel “Sea of Poppies,” novelist Amitav Ghosh captures the romance, and cruelty, and wild, rough globalization of the age of opium.
This hour, On Point: Amitav Ghosh and “Sea of Poppies.”
You can join the conversation. Have you read it? Been transported to its polyglot, cultural mash-up opium days? How do you weigh the romance against the brutality of the time?Guest:
Read an excerpt from "Sea of Poppies."
This program aired on November 19, 2008.