393pp., paperback, Reprint, London, (1992) 2012
"History in the guise of a traveller's tale".
Two main narratives move back and forth between Amitav Ghosh's experiences as an ethnographer living in Eqyptian villages and towns in the 1980s, and his reconstruction of the lives of a Jewish trader and his Indian slave in the eleventh century, as recorded in documents from the Cairo Geniza.
Indian writer Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956 and lives in New York. His novels include The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, The Calcutta Chromosome and Sea of Poppies.