December 04, 2008

Another 9/11? Let's hope not.

Amitav GhoshAlthough the media insists on comparing last week's terrorist assaults in Mumbai to 9/11, India's government has (so far) thankfully resisted pressure to react with the misinformed and excessive force that has characterized the U.S.'s post-9/11 war efforts. In an Op-Ed piece for today's New York Times, the Indian-Bengali author Amitav Ghosh explains that the Mumbai invasion is closer to the 2004 Madrid train bombings than it is to the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and makes a wise and sensitive argument for a patient response.

I was grateful to see Ghosh offering his thoughts on the situation in India. Ever since loving his 2000 novel, The Glass Palace, set in early 20th-century India and Burma (one of the story's heroines becomes an accomplished meditator), I have kept an eye out for new work by Ghosh. Joan Duncan Oliver, our Reviews Editor, recently gave me his new novel, Sea of Poppies, a finalist for this year's Man Booker Prize. I haven't finished it yet, but when I do, I'll let you know what I think.

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