The Glass Palace

By Amitav Ghosh,

Book cover of The Glass Palace

Book description

The International Bestseller from the Man Booker Prize shortlisted author

'An absorbing story of a world in transition' JM Coetzee

'A Doctor Zhivago for the Far East' The Independent

Rajkumar is only another boy, helping on a market stall in the dusty square outside the royal palace, when the British…


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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Glass Palace as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Amitav Ghosh is one of my favourite historical novelists and his ability to bring his characters to life draws readers into the web of this epic tale. The story begins in Burma in the shadow of the "Glass Palace" in Mandalay, from where King Thibaw has recently been exiled by the British. It then spans an entire century, following the lives of several characters, particularly Rajkumar, who begins as a food-stall assistant and after many years working in the teak forests, he manages to buy a timber yard of his own. If you enjoy this novel, don’t miss the Ibis…

This epic historical fiction novel took me to Burma in 1885 and continues to 1990. The first line sets the standard for this gripping read, “In the marketplace of Mandalay, only the 11-year-old Indian boy Rajkumar recognizes the booming sounds beyond the curve of the river as the English cannon fire.” Rajkumar witnesses Britain’s invasion and capture of Burma’s capital. He sees the looters ransack the Glass Palace. Rajkumar catches sight of Dolly, a 10-year-old nursemaid. He recalls this sighting through the years as he makes his fortune in the teak trade. In this novel, the author brings to life…

The finest novel written on the English in Burma. Set during the British invasion of 1885, a poor boy is lifted on the tides of political and social chaos that shaped Burma and India.

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