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Amitav Ghosh and Alexander Baron rediscovered

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 12 June 2011

Mariella Frostrup talks to the award-winning author Amitav Ghosh about River of Smoke, the second book in Ghosh's Ibis Trilogy, set in the waterways around Canton during the events leading up to the start of the First Opium War in 1839.

In this week's Reading Clinic, author Joanna Kavenna recommends fiction in which women rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

And we hear why Alexander Baron, the British novelist of the Second World War, should be rediscovered and re-read, from writer and poet Iain Sinclair.

Producer: Ella-mai Robey.

  • Read the opening chapter of River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh

    Chapter 1: River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh
  • Get ahead with Mariella’s next book Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

    Find Chapter 1 of Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi


    River of Smoke - Amitav Ghosh
    Publisher: John Murray

    Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh
    Publisher: John Murray

    The Glass Palace - Amitav Ghosh
    Publisher: Flamingo

    The Hungry Tide - Amitav Ghosh
    Publisher: HarperCollins



    Oeuvres complètes, 1832: Indiana; Valentine – George Sand
    Publisher: Honoré Champion

    Ella Hepworth Dixon: The Story of a Modern Woman (The Nineteenth Century Series) - Valerie Fehlbaum
    Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited

    The Millstone - Margaret Drabble
    Publisher: Penguin

    Arlington Park - Rachel Cusk
    Publisher: Faber and Faber

    Mariella's recommendations:

    The Summer of the Bear - Bella Pollen
    Publisher: Pan

    Perfect Lives - Polly Samson
    Publisher: Virago Press


    Recommendations from Iain:

    There's No Home – Alexander Baron
    Publisher: Sort Of Books

    From the City, From the Plough - Alexander Baron
    Publisher: BLACK SPRING

    King Dido - Alexander Baron
    Publisher: New London Editions

    Further suggested reading:

    The Human Kind - Alexander Baron
    Publisher: BLACK SPRING


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