Embassy of India
BOOK READING SESSION WITH AMITAV GHOSH
Embassy of India, Jakarta, in association with Ministry of Culture and Education of the Republic of Indonesia organized a ‘Book Reading Session with Amitav Ghosh’. The excerpts were read from Amitav Ghosh’s novel “The Glass Palace” which has also been translated into Bahasa Indonesia. Speaking at the event, Mr. Hilmar Farid, Director General of Ministry of Education and Culture informed that Mr. Amitav Ghosh has been invited to Indonesia under Indonesian Government’s “Explore Indonesia Program for International Authors and Journalists”. He said that the objective of the program is to obtain views and perception of foreigners about Indonesia. Mr. Amitav Ghosh was a good choice as Southeast Asia has often figured in the works. The Ambassador of India to Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Ms. Nengcha Lhouvum, thanked DG Education and Culture for inviting Mr. Amitav Ghosh and organizing the event. She spoke about Mr. Amitav Ghosh and his works and recalled her long association with the author.
With the help of photographs and pictures, Amitav Ghosh gave detailed description of places and characters of his novel and told how the idea of writing this novel emerged and developed. Mr. NirwanDewanto read the passages from the Amitav Ghosh’s book “The Glass Palace” in English and Bahasa Indonesia. Later a panel comprising Mr. Amitav Ghosh, Mr. Nirwan Dewanto, Ms. Melanie Budianta and Ms. Leila S Chudhori discussed various aspects of the books. There was question and answers session at the end in which audience asked some interesting questions.
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956. He studied in Dehra Dun, New Delhi, Alexandria and Oxford. ‘The Circle of Reason’ won the Prix MedicisEtranger, one of France's top literary awards, and ‘The Shadow Lines’ won the SahityaAkademi Award and the Ananda Puraskar. ‘The Calcutta Chromosome’ won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for 1997 and ‘The Glass Palace’ won the Grand Prize for Fiction at the Frankfurt International e-Book Awards in 2001. ‘The Hungry Tide’ won the Hutch Crossword Book Prize in 2006. In 2007 Amitav Ghosh was awarded the Grinzane Cavour Prize in Italy. In January 2007 he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honours, by the President of India. He is married to the writer, Deborah Baker, and has two children, Lila and Nayan. He divides his time between Kolkata, Goa and Brooklyn.
During his visit to Indonesia, Mr. Amitav Ghosh will visit various cultural and natural objects, i.e. Al-Munawarroh Mosque in Ternate, Ternate Sultanate, Tidore Island, Tana Toraja, traditional villages, and have discussion with few communities/academicians.
The Book Reading Session gave an opportunity to audience to interact with Amitav Ghosh, get a glimpse ofhis mind and how he viewshis character and works.
Jakarta; 31 October 2016