In an antique land The cover proclaims IAAL “History in the guise of a traveller’s tale,” and the multi-generic book moves back and forth between Ghosh’s. Once upon a time an Indian writer named Amitav Ghosh set out to find an Indian slave, name unknown, who some seven hundred years before had traveled to. Such is the underlying motif of IN AN ANTIQUE LAND, Amitav Ghosh’s fascinating study which blends a historical detective story with his own experiences as a.

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He glowed with love as he looked at the boy. It’ll be better than the best television set in Nashawy, insha’allah, and it’ll be in colour too. We were then well into Ramadan, and I was one of the amitzv of people in the hamlet who were not fasting.

Ghosh succeeds in his creation of a world far stranger than the one that currently exists, be it in Egypt or abroad. He would hitch up the hem of his jallabeyya and then, lifting up his leg, he would mount the vehicle with a little sidelong hop, while his son held it steady. His laughter was infectious; I found myself laughing with him.

A consignment of Indian pepper in which he and Ben Yiju had invested jointly has been lost in a shipwreck off the narrow straits that lead into the Red Sea. Overall, the Ben Yiju sub-plot added to the past-meets-present theme of the book, but it almost had a Biblical An interesting weave of non-fiction and fiction. I happened to look up then and I saw Jabir, standing silently in the stairway, watching me. I overheard Shaikh Musa saying a few words to her and, detecting a note of familiarity in his voice, I attributed it to his special closeness to his younger son.

I had always felt secure in his friendship, from the moment of our first meeting: Yep, lots of awkward questions about cows and people gasping and reciting protective prayers when they heard about the “terrifying horrifying” things they do in al-Hind, like burning widows. I was soon to discover the truth of this for myself.


Full text of “In an Antique Land”

There was a snake curled up at the entrance, the officials of the synagogue told him, and it would be extremely dangerous to go in. After Ahmed returned from the mosque, two women came into the room carrying a pair of trays loaded with food.

He becomes more the object of anthropological study by the village. Books by Amitav Ghosh. I would say it is one of the best books by Ghosh.

In an Antique Land

The story of his research has two segments that unfold side by side. As the night wore on, the thought of hearing Abu-‘Ali’s voice for months on end, perhaps years, began to seem utterly intolerable. At that time, I was still innocent of some of the finer distinctions between salaried people and fellaheen but I could tell at once, from his starchy blue jallabeyya and white net skull-cap, that Jabir’s uncle did not make his living from ploughing the land.

I went up to the machine’s spout, stooped beside it and peered knowledgeably into its inky interior, shutting one eye. I got lost so many times. Let us see how that works out for us! But the moment did not seem appropriate, and in a while I got up to leave. Ignoring my mumbled retort, he turned back to his audience. Later, when he rose to leave, he stopped at the door and declared: The name may have come from the Arabic Bab il-On, ‘The Gate of On’, after the ancient sanctuary of the Sun God at Heliopolis, but there are many contending theories and no one knows for sure.

In an Antique Land is an inspired work that transcends genres as deftly as it does eras, weaving an entrancing and intoxicating spell. Within this tornado of grand designs and historical destinies, Khalaf ibn Ishaq’s letter seems to open a trapdoor into a vast network of foxholes where real life continues uninterrupted.

At the peak of the community’s prosperity, during the first two and a half centuries after the rebuilding of the Synagogue ingreat quantities of manuscripts poured in. I must add that there are also certain claims, which very often appear fictitious in his novels, but one should check them before dismissing them as fiction after all who checks facts in fiction. It was very still that day, with the moisture from the freshly- watered cotton fields and rice paddies hanging heavy in the air.


I remembered her because of the posture of command she had assumed, perfectly naturally, with one knee flat on the floor and the other drawn up to support her arm and clenched fist. Life took over, what can I say While living in [the governorate of] Beh Amitav Ghosh is essayist and blogger as well as novelist, and it was the sheer pleasure from some of his essays and blog posts that induced me to take on one of his novels. Even for those who are Egyptian or who have lived in this country for some time, the book relays the excitement of discovering something new.

A part of me had wanted to go — not merely that part which told me that it was, in a sense, my duty, part of my job. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Please try again later. Later it was I who was shame-stricken, thinking of the astonishment and laughter I must have provoked, walking past them, eyes lowered, never uttering so much as a word of greeting.

Amitav Ghosh : In An Antique Land

As a reader, I feel transplanted in the Egyptian countryside. Jabir, Abu-‘ Alts young relative, had woken me one morning, soon after I arrived in Lataifa. He is one of the few who can come up with subtly remarkable criticism of the west: The Calcutta Chromosome won the Arthur C.

Amitav Ghosh ends his tale there and tries to wrap up his historical thread also, drawing tenuous parallels between modern times and a story that he is largely obliged to guess on the basis of some ambiguous letters. He was very jealous of his custodianship of the vehicle and would never allow his brothers or cousins to use it — but his father, of course, was another matter altogether.