A "San Francisco Chronicle" Best Book of 2008
A "Chicago"" Tribune" Best Book of 2008
A "Washington"" Post" Best Book of 2008
An "Economist" Best Book of 2008
A "New York" Best Book of 2008
A "Christian Science Monitor" Best Book of 2008
A "Publishers Weekly "Best Book of 2008
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast 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 freespirited 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 spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, the exotic 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.
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