The Glass Palace

English language

Published Feb. 12, 2002


View on Inventaire

5 stars (1 review)

The Glass Palace is a 2000 historical novel by Indian writer Amitav Ghosh. The novel is set in Burma, Bengal, India, and Malaya, spans a century from the Third Anglo-Burmese War and the consequent fall of the Konbaung Dynasty in Mandalay, through the Second World War to late 20th century. Through the stories of a small number of privileged families, it illuminates the struggles that have shaped Burma, India and Malaya into the places they are today. It explores the various facets of the colonial period, including the economic fall of Burma, the rise of timber and rubber plantations, the moral dilemmas faced by Indians in the British Indian Army, and the devastating effects of World War II. Focusing mainly on the early 20th Century, it explores a broad range of issues ranging from the changing economic landscape of Burma and India, to pertinent questions about what constitutes a nation …

1 edition

Will sit with me for a long time

5 stars

I have been on a search for books on Myanmar, especially those written by people of heritage there too. At the end of the book, the bio mentions in a quick sentence that he was born in India to Burmese parents, but I cannot find anywhere online if this is in reference to ethnicity or nationality. It is from stories of his family that send him on a five year research journey for this book. One must be careful to consider what is fact, what is fiction, and what we can only surmise because what has been lost.

At some points of the book, things felt way too drawn out, at others, it felt too short. But as someone who has not read a true storyteller's story in a long time, I began to find much joy and excitement from reading this book. If I had followed my plans, I …