A saga of flight and pursuit, this novel chronicles the adventures of Alu, a young weaver who is wrongly suspected of being a terrorist. Chased from Bengal to Bombay and on through the Persian Gulf to North Africa by a bird-watching police inspector, Alu encounters along the way a cast of characters as various and as colourful as the epithets with which the author adorns them. The reader is drawn into their lives by incidents tender and outrageous and all compellingly told. Ghosh is as natural a weaver of words as Alu is of cloth, deftly interlacing humour and wisdom to produce a narrative tapestry of surpassing beauty.
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 his first novel, 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.