Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956. He grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford and published the first of six novels, The Circle of Reason in 1986. He has taught at a number of institutions, most recently Harvard, and written for many publications. He currently divides his time between Calcutta, Goa and Brooklyn. The first novel in the Ibis Trilogy, Sea of Poppies, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize.