Archive for June, 2011

New novel by Amitav Ghosh, RIVER OF SMOKE

Amitav Ghosh’s new novel, RIVER OF SMOKE, has been published in the UK by John Murray, and will be released in the US in September by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. It is the second part of the trilogy begun with SEA OF POPPIES (2008). This week’s ECONOMIST (18-24 June 2011) carries a very favourable review (‘Chasing the Dragon’, p. 87;, praising the novel’s ‘Dickensian sweep of characters’, ‘thrilling sense of place’ (the main focus is China) and lexicon combining a ‘rich brew of cultures’.

Note added 24 September 2011:  On 23 September 2011 I posted, on this blog (see entry) a brief piece on the language aspects of this novel.



Now published in Delhi is the 25th anniversary number (No 29, 2010) of HISPANIC HORIZON  (the ISSN is 0907-7522), journal of the Centre of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Latin American Studies of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Delhi. This is a major, 400-page issue entitled ‘The Shared Crossings: Indo-Hispano-Lusophone Literary Perspectives’, ably edited by Shyama Prasad Ganguly. The contributions, variously in English and Spanish, focus for the most part on interactions and parallels between Indian and Hispanophone or Lusophone cultures.

Among the contributions may be noted texts on: San Juan de la Cruz and, variously, tantric spirituality (Luce López-Baralt) and the ‘Rasa Lila’ devoted to Krishna (Gloria Maité Hernández); Santa Teresa de Ávila and Mirabai (Ana García Arroyo); Ortega y Gasset and yoga (Óscar Pujol); Indian influences on Spanish and Catalan literature (Ramón Bassa i Martín); religious themes in Calderón (Meenakshi Sundriyal); the reception of Tagore in Spain (José Paz) and Portugal (Sovon Sanyal); César Vallejo and India (Shyama Prasad Ganguly); José María Arguedas (‘Los ríos profundos’ and ‘Yawar Fiesta’) (Mrinalini Ghosh); magic realism and Bengali fiction (Rabindranath Pal); Octavio Paz in India (Malabika Bhattacharya) and on Indian architecture and sculpture (Jyotirmoy Ghosh); and the recent first-ever direct translation into Bengali of the second part of ‘Don Quijote’ (Asesh Ray). 

The volume also includes my own review, in Spanish, (pp. 376-378) of: Jordi Bonells, ed., Dictionnaire des littératures hispaniques: Espagne et Amérique Latine (Paris: Laffont, 2009), earlier published on this blog (19 December 2010).

Note added 28 July 2011:

The entire volume is now on-line at: