Amitav Ghosh - “The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Climate in Crisis” - Chicago Humanities Festival

Saturday, October 23, 2021 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh will discuss his latest book, "The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Climate in Crisis." He will be joined in conversation by Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy.

Presented in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival


About the Book: In this ambitious successor to The Great Derangement, acclaimed writer Amitav Ghosh finds the origins of our contemporary climate crisis in Western colonialism’s violent exploitation of human life and the natural environment. A powerful work of history, essay, testimony, and polemic, Amitav Ghosh’s new book traces our contemporary planetary crisis back to the discovery of the New World and the sea route to the Indian Ocean. The Nutmeg’s Curse argues that the dynamics of climate change today are rooted in a centuries-old geopolitical order constructed by Western colonialism. At the center of Ghosh’s narrative is the now-ubiquitous spice nutmeg. The history of the nutmeg is one of conquest and exploitation—of both human life and the natural environment. In Ghosh’s hands, the story of the nutmeg becomes a parable for our environmental crisis, revealing the ways human history has always been entangled with earthly materials such as spices, tea, sugarcane, opium, and fossil fuels.  

About the Author: Amitav Ghosh is the author of the acclaimed and bestselling Ibis trilogy, which includes Sea of Poppies, which was short-listed for the 2008 Man Booker Prize, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire. His other books include: The Circle of Reason, which won the Prix Médicis étranger; The Glass Palace, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, Gun Island: A Novel, and The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2007 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009.

About the Interlocutor: Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy is the author of Voyager, named one of the best books of poetry in 2011 by The New Yorker, The Believer, and National Public Radio; Facts for Visitors, which received the 2005 Asian American Literary Award; and Underworld Lit. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Creative Capital Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Reddy is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.

Event Location: 
Columbia College Chicago - Student Center
754 S Wabash
Chicago, IL 60605