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Born in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, in India on July 11th 1956, Amitav Ghosh is a well-known writer who is famous for penning down English fiction and non-fiction. Although he was born in Kolkata, he was raised in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Ghosh did his schooling from The Doon School located in Dehradun where he was also the editor of The Doon School Weekly.
Prominent writers and Ghosh’s fellows, Ram Guha and Vikram Seth also studied at The Doon School. Amitav is an alumnus of the St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi and did his post-graduation in Social Anthropology from the Delhi School of Economics. Amitav received a DPhil scholarship from St Edmund Hall in Oxford, situated in England and he was supervised by Peter Lienhardt. Ghosh’s father, Shailendra Chandra Ghosh was an officer in the Indian army.
Ghosh used to work at the Indian Express newspaper before becoming a prominent writer. After completing his DPhil, he returned to India and started writing his first book titled, The Circle of Reason which got published in the year 1986. The book is quite technical and full of twists as described by the readers and gives an insight into the early Bengali literature. This book was awarded the most prestigious French award, Prix Médicis étranger.
Ghosh’s next book was The Shadow Lines, which came out in the year 1988. The Shadow Lines is the best example of partition literature and focused on the communal riots that broke out in Dhaka. Ghosh went ahead to write novels like The Calcutta Chromosome, Sea of Poppies, Hungry Tide and The Glass Palace. Sea of Poppies was the first book as the part of Ibis trilogy and was followed by the books, River of Smoke and Flood of Fire.
Ghosh is not only famous because of his fiction work but also for his non-fiction work. His notable works under the category of non-fiction are Countdown, In An Antique Land, The Imam and the Indian, and Dancing in Cambodia and At Large in Burma. Ghosh has also issued a collection of critical essays, and his writings and articles feature in prestigious literary magazines and newspapers. Ghosh has won several accolades in his career including Sahitya Akademi Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award, Dan David Prize, and much more.
Ghosh also received the honor of Padma Shri from the Indian Government. Amitav Ghosh is a happily married man with two children and resides in Brooklyn in New York. He married the famous writer, Deborah Baker, and his kids are Nayan and Lila.
Dean Koontz is an author of American descent. His works mostly belong to the genre of suspense thrillers although they contain some elements of satire, mystery, horror, science fiction and fantasy. His full name is Dean Ray Koontz and he took birth on July 9, 1945, in Everett, Pennsylvania. His parent's names are Florence and Raymond Koontz. Dean had a difficult childhood. His father was an alcoholic and he would abuse and beat Dean.
It affected him greatly and it is evident in some of his writings too. After Dean started writing, his mother gathered up the courage to stand up to her husband and eventually filed for divorce. While studying, Bachelor of Arts in English from the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, he won an Atlantic Monthly magazine's fiction competition. In 1967, he graduated and started to teach English at Mechanicsburg High School, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
He also worked for the Poverty Program of Appalachian. It was an initiative to help underprivileged children and federal funded it. However, the program didn't do what it claimed and would misuse the funding. Due to this experience, he developed mistrust towards all government schemes. While teaching, he penned his first book named, Star Quest. He found a publisher for it in the year 1968. He then went on to produce several novels like Whispers, The Key to Midnight, The Funhouse, Demon Seed and much more.
In his writing career, he has released his books under several pen names like David Axton, Deanna Dwyer, Richard Paige, Anthony North and much more. He donated a substantial amount to Canine Companions for Independence, which is a charity that provides disable people service dogs. In acknowledgment of his contribution, they gifted him, a golden retriever. He named him Trixie. Trixie inspired one of his pseudonym and his work The Darkest Evening of the Year.
In 2007, Trixie died after contracting cancer. Even after her death, Dean continued to author books using the pen name that Trixie inspired. A year later, he adopted a new dog named Anna. Coincidentally, she was Trixie's grandniece. While in college, he converted to Catholicism as it helped him keep sane from his traumatic childhood.
There is speculation that he has written more than thirty erotica novels under different names. He has denied it though. Filmmakers and producers have adapted some of his works for theatre, films, and TV shows. He married Gerda Ann Cerra, a writer herself, on October 15, 1966. According to his official website, he has reportedly sold nearly four hundred and fifty million copies.
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