Amitav Ghosh awarded the Erasmus Prize for contribution to climate change crisis through his writing


Our Bureau


The Praemium Erasmianum foundation has awarded the Erasmus Prize 2024 to the Indian writer Amitav Ghosh. The theme of the Erasmus Prize this year is ‘imagining the unthinkable’. The award recognizes his passionate contribution to the theme for bringing forth the global climate change crisis through the written word.

Author of bestsellers such as The Nutmeg’s Curse, The Hungry Tide, The Great Derangement among others, Ghosh, 67, studied social anthropology at Oxford, dividing his time between India and the US. Winner of multiple prizes, including the 2018 Gyanpith Award, the highest literary prize in India, Ghosh  made nature an important character in his work ever since he conducted research into the tidal landscape of the Sundarbans for his book The Hungry Tide and witnessed how climate change and rising sea levels were ravaging the area. 

According to the Foundation, Ghosh has produced “a vast body of work, made up of both historical novels and journalistic essays” that carry the reader across continents and oceans.

“Each work is grounded in thorough archival research and succeeds in transcending boundaries and time periods with literary eloquence. Ghosh makes major themes such as migration, diaspora, and cultural identity tangible without ever losing sight of the human dimension,” it said.

Drawing from the rich history of the Indian subcontinent, Ghosh describes how, in that part of the world where he was born, the effects of natural catastrophes have been inextricably linked with human destiny for a very long time, the statement added.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands founded the Praemium Erasmianum, a cultural institution active in the fields of humanities, social sciences and the arts in 1958.

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