In an exclusive interview in The Outlook, novelist Amitav Ghosh talks to Sunil Sethi about the movements in history and his life that shape his work.

Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh

My first novel, The Circle of Reason, came out in 1985 and The Shadow Lines after a three-year hiatus. It was a very tumultuous period of my life. I was invited to spend a year in an Ame­rican university and I finished it during a very bitter cold winter. I had just got my first computer but most of it I wrote by hand. The trigger for the book was the 1984 Delhi riots. What the events of 1984 made me think of was the ways in which my life has always been enmeshed in riots.