Amitav Ghosh's <i>The Shadow Lines</i>: Re-Reading its Craft and Concerns


  • Murari Prasad, D.S. College, Bihar, India


In this essay I examine Amitav Ghosh’s craft and concerns in one of his finest  novels, The Shadow Lines (1988). I further explore Ghosh’s organisation of the  diegetic elements, such as the novel’s world and situation, events and characters, as  well as the mode of telling and recounting the story, and argue how it is designed in  conjunction with his central thematic preoccupation. As memory provides the  narrative trigger in this novel, I analyse Ghosh’s mnemonic enterprise as part of his  narrative management. By using different narrative terms derived from Russian  Formalism and Structuralist mediations, the novel’s construction is taken apart to  demonstrate Ghosh’s innovative art. Besides dealing with the novel’s narratological  technique, this essay looks at Ghosh’s interrogation of cartographic determinations  against the background of Bengal’s vivisection into East Pakistan (now  Bangladesh) and West Bengal and evaluates his espousal of secular tolerance and  alternative cartography in a multi-cultural scenario.


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Author Biography

Murari Prasad, D.S. College, Bihar, India

Murari Prasad is currently teaching English at D.S. College, Katihar, India. Previously he was an Associate Professor of English in the Faculty of Arts, Sana University, Yemen. He has edited critical anthologies on Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy (2005), Arundhati Roy (2006) and Amitav Ghosh (2008, forthcoming). He has also published articles on Theodore Dreiser, Ernest Hemingway, V.S. Naipaul, Margaret Atwood and Upamanyu Chatterje




How to Cite

Prasad, D.S. College, Bihar, India, M. (2008). Amitav Ghosh’s &lt;i&gt;The Shadow Lines&lt;/i&gt;: Re-Reading its Craft and Concerns. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 2(1), 69–82. Retrieved from