In a leisurely blend of travelogue, history and cross-cultural analysis, Indian writer Ghosh reconstructs a 12th-century master-slave relationship that confounds modern concepts of slavery. In an Antique Land is a subversive history in the guise of a traveller's tale. Bursting with anecdote and exuberant detail, it offers a magical, intimate biography of the private life of a country, Egypt, from the Crusades to Operation Desert Storm.
In the decade before the Islamic Revolution, Iran is a country on the brink of explosion. Twelve-year-old Yaas is born into an already divided family: her father is the son of wealthy Iranian Jews who are integrated into the country's mostly Muslim, upper-class elite while her mother grew up in the slums of South Tehran, one street away from the old Jewish ghetto. Yaas spends her childhood navigating the many layers of Iranian society. When her parents' marriage begins to crumble and the country moves ever closer toward revolution, Yaas is plagued by a mysterious, terrifying illness. But despite her ailment, Yaas becomes determined to save herself and her family.
This memoir of an Egyptian Jewish family’s gradual ruin is told without melodrama by its youngest survivor, now a reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Lagnado’s story hinges on her father, "the Captain," who cut a dashing figure in mid-century Cairo, consorting with British officers and Egyptian royalty at French cafés while his family, neglected, stayed home. At first refusing to join the tide of Jews fleeing Egypt under the Nasser regime, the Captain finally yields, in 1963, when the family escapes to Paris and then Brooklyn. Deprived of wealth, status, and any means of coping, Lagnado’s father fades, but he never loses his air of chivalry, manifested in a regular outflow of tiny checks to charitable causes—orphanages, vocational schools, and dowry funds for poor girls—overseas. "As if the Captain were capable of rescuing anyone," his daughter writes.
People of the Book crosses continents and centuries to bring stories of hope amidst darkness, compassion amidst cruelty, all bound together by the discoveries made by a young Australian woman restoring an ancient Hebrew book. When Hanna Heath gets a call in the middle of the night in her Sydney home about a precious medieval manuscript that has been recovered from the smouldering ruins of war-torn Sarajevo, she knows she is on the brink of the experience of a lifetime. A renowned book conservator, she must now make her way to Bosnia to start work on restoring the Sarajevo Haggadah - a Jewish prayer book - to discover its secrets and piece together the story of its miraculous survival.