The story of these characters is not told in a contextual vacuum, it instead corresponds to the growth of Calcutta as a city and India as a nation over a period of three decades or more. None, that is, other that war. The narrator’s family was intimately connected with an English middle class family. Frankly, I found this odd. Price, her daughter May, and son Nick. However an indicator of this deep complex does surface later. The narrator is not only a storyteller but also the strand that brings together other available versions in order to make a complete picture.

View all 6 comments. The friendship of the Datta- Chaudhary family and the Prices goes back to the Colonial times when their English grandfather, Tresawsen had come to Calcutta as an agent of a steel-manufacturing company and had later become a factory owner. He understands that there’s a relationship between May and Tridib that he won’t understand. You can tell one without involving the child, except that it wont be a story anymore. Nations are born, nations die, the cartographers and politicians rearrange political spaces but these locations are remarkably immune to these designs. I only talked like that to shock you and because you seemed to expect it of me somehow. The grandmother is the most realized character in the novel, the only character who has seen it all, and whose presence holds together the different narratives.

The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh Plot Summary | LitCharts

If you employ these rules to navigate your world, then this book is either going to be inscrutable or provide a fresh perspective depending on your frame of reference.

The nameless narrator in this book takes you through his story, which despite being his own, is influenced by his family and friends, making it a sum of their memories rather than his own. Synoppsis because, the author says, these do not cohere well with constructs like a nation that the state has so painfully nurtured earlier: Told as seen through the eyes of the narrator, whose name we never learn perhaps this says something of his place in the story: As the pages whirl by, boundaries blur.

It gives you a first party narration but with a third party perspective of a neutral observer who lets the events unfold being part of them but not influencing them. Not long after this comes to light, the Shaheb receives a job posting in Dhaka, and he, Sahdow, and Robi move there. Khalil stnopsis to drive Jethamoshai in his rickshaw to Mayadebi’s house. The very soul of the happenings, he is the comma which separates yet connects the various clauses of life lived in Calcuttta, London, Dhaka and elsewhere.

Liens didn’t find them or their relationship engrossing either. Another aspect of modern India that the narrator brings out through the novel is the typical 20th Century phenomenon of Civil strife and rioting especially the one that results from communal discord.


Students of South Asian history, people who like to read about travel. May makes plans to travel to Calcutta and then to Dhaka with Tha’mma.

I was a bit unsure of the Tridib of the street corners. Jatin marries a woman affectionately known as Queen Victoriaand the couple has a daughter named Ila, who is the narrator’s age. The writing was beautiful, however I was not entirely sold on the idea of shadow lines. Whereas this violence is a part of the life of all the people who underwent the distresses of dislocation during Partition, it can only find an expression through the grotesque means of madness.

I enjoyed many of the issues covered in this book – people getting displaced by Partition, living as a foreigner in another country and racial and religious bigotry. It will be an anecdote – a story without the soul.

The narrator’s parents tell him later that Tridib died in an accident. His writing is moving and heartbreaking and the pathos is unbearable at times, but that is most Indian fiction for you, and I love it like nothing amjtav. It was a journey through the unnamed narrator’s mind who isn’t trying to get to a truth but in that process reveals the greatest one – that there is no truth.

The Shadow Lines

Ila decides that they’re going to play a game called Houses, which she plays with Nick in London. He not synoosis recognizes old buildings that Tridib had merely mentioned to him as a child, but with the same eloquence questions missing ones, the ones bombed out in action and the like.

Here it is pertinent to point out that the author, inspite of his omniscience, is zhadow and his stories are mostly in the form of renderings of the other characters.

And what messages are conveyed, what new ideas are unearthed! She does not consciously criticize the phenomenon of Partition even once, there are no lengthy harangues: And Ghosh does all this with the most understated intensity, an zynopsis that is never evident but still felt.

Amitav Ghosh : Reviews – The Shadow Lines

When they’re in the car, they turn a corner and come face to face with a mob. Amitav Ghosh is one of India’s best-known writers. The narrator convinces Tha’mma to allow his family to accompany Ila’s to their family home in Raibajar.

Identities are constructed by complex overlapping memories and stories. Get the Teacher Edition. Around the same time, Tha’mma, who is retired and has time on her hands for the first time in her life, receives word that her uncle Jethamoshai, who is in his nineties, still lives in the family home in Dhaka. I liked the book for not trying to explain its eccentricities by being profound.


Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in No stor The return of this asymmetrical Saturday was one of those little events, internal, local, almost civic, which, in peaceful lives and closed societies, create a sort of national bond and become the favorite theme of conversations, jokes, stories wantonly exaggerated: The author finds an inadequate portrayal of such historical events in these sources and then goes on to analyze the reasons behind such silences:.

Or the texture of violence that often accompanies it. That’s when ghish realize the book is now a part of you – that there was something so compatible between your mind, your feelings and amitavv book that there are no separate entities now.

Routine activity of furnishing her personal details while finishing the documentation for her visa forms raise fundamental doubts within her about her identity.

Events do not fit neatly within borders and the global web of history and events that inform the narrators view of the world make any such claims impossible. There are also some real sentiments from the elderly grandmother teacher. Split into two parts ‘Going Away’ and ‘Coming Home’the novel follows the life of a young boy growing up in Calcuttawho is educated in Delhi and then follows with the amiitav he has in London.

For the first time in my life she had betrayed me.

I never did any of those things: On all scores Amitav Ghosh’s “The Shadow Lines” is a novel which must be read and re-read, thought about and discussed upon. The Shadow Lines Summary. Instead, it invites the reader to invent one, out of the memories of those involved, memories that hold mirrors vhosh differing shades to the same experience. This is how a how a novel should be written. Retrieved from ” https: Perhaps this oblivion is tantamount to a deliberate non-admission of facts that are deeply disturbing to her.

The Indian city of Calcutta, in the ‘s and afterwards is the main stage, but also London in and in the sixties, and in the second part also Dhaka in Bangladesh are places of interest in this novel. And I recommend it to everyone. The case of the Gosh of the Indian subcontinent has been very different because the state has been forced to create a difference where none existed and show the two nations as inherently opposed.