October 14, 2021 4:35:43 pm
Celebrated writer Amitav Ghosh’s new book “The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis”, revealing the remarkable ways in which human history is shaped by non-human forces, was released on Thursday, announced Penguin Random House India (PRHI).
The book, written against the backdrop of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, claims to interweave discussions on everything from climate change, the migrant crisis, to the animist spirituality of indigenous communities around the world.
“The story is told through the history of a spice, the now ubiquitous nutmeg. The history of the nutmeg is one of conquest and exploitation — of both human life and the natural environment — and it illustrates how the geopolitical hierarchy that dominates the world today has its foundations in a fundamentally mechanistic view of the earth, where nature exists only as a resource for humans to use for our own ends, rather than a force in its own right, full of agency and meaning,” said Ghosh, the first English-language writer to be conferred with Jnanpith Award (2018).
Ghosh, 65, who is now considered an influential voice on the climate crisis, has previously penned “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable”, a work of non-fiction.
In his latest book, Ghosh, a Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi awardee, argues that the nutmeg’s violent trajectory from its native islands is revealing of a wider colonial mindset which justifies the exploitation of human life and the natural environment, and which dominates geopolitics to this day.
“My new book was written entirely during the pandemic, which is of course, but one manifestation of the planetary crisis. The crisis may have arrived very suddenly, but it has been a long time in the making.
“Its deep historical and cultural roots are indeed the subject of ‘The Nutmeg’s Curse’,” he explained.
Other books written by the author include, “Shadow Lines”, “The Glass Palace”, “The Hungry Tide”, “Gun Island” and Ibis Trilogy — “Sea of Poppies”, “River of Smoke”, “Flood of Fire” — chronicling the opium trade between India and China run by the East India Company.
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