Award-winning writer Amitav Ghosh to give 2017 Finzi-Contini Lecture

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Acclaimed Indian writer Amitav Ghosh will deliver the 2017 Finzi-Contini Lecture on Tuesday, April 18. (Photo by Emilio Madrid-Kuser)

On Tuesday, April 18, acclaimed Indian writer Amitav Ghosh will deliver the Finzi-Contini Lecture under the auspices of the Whitney Humanities Center (WHC).

His talk, titled “Speaking of Babel: The Risks and Rewards of Writing about Polyglot Societies,” will take place at 5 p.m. in the WHC auditorium, 53 Wall St. Ghosh will also read from his works at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19 in the auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public. 

Ghosh is the author of numerous award-winning works of fiction and non-fiction, including the novels “The Glass Palace,” “The Hungry Tide,” “Sea of Poppies,” “River of Smoke,” and “Flood of Fire,” and the essay collections “In an Antique Land,” “Dancing in Cambodia,” “The Imam and the Indian,” and, most recently, “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable.” Ghosh’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New Republic, and The New York Times, and been translated into more than 35 languages. He has taught at Delhi University, Columbia, Queens College, and Harvard.

Ghosh is the recipient of the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest honors, bestowed by the president of India. He holds honorary doctorates from Queens College and the Sorbonne, and received the Dan David Prize in recognition of outstanding scientific, technological, cultural, or social impact on our world, and the Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix for lifetime achievement. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow.

The biannual Finzi-Contini Lectureship was endowed in 1990 by the Calabresi family, including Guido Calabresi, judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and former dean of Yale Law School, in memory of his mother, Bianca Maria Finzi-Contini Calabresi. Past lecturers include Umberto Eco, A.S. Byatt, Orhan Pamuk, W.S. Merwin, Azar Nafisi, Alberto Manguel, and Maxine Hong Kingston. The lectures are devoted to any aspect of European or comparative literature and culture.

For more information, contact the Whitney Humanities Center at 203-432-0670 or email

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Whitney Humanities Center:, 203-432-0670