Synopses & Reviews
With Tolstoyan sweep and Dickensian vitality, this epically involving historical novel relates Englands tragic adventure in Afghanistan, which began with the triumphant arrival of the Army of the Indus in 1839 and ended three years later in rout and massacre.
At the center of The Mulberry Empire is Alexander Burnes, a Scots explorer who travels to the unfathomably remote kingdom of Afghanistan and first befriends and then reluctantly betrays its wise and impeccably courteous Amir. But he is only one character in a cast that includes ladies and generals, princes and deserters, all brilliantly and sympathetically realized. At once stirring and harrowing, exotic and cautionary, and as vividly colored as a Persian miniature, the result is a tour de force of re-creation and invention.
About the Author
Philip Hensher is a critic and the author of five works of fiction, including Kitchen Venom, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award. One of Grantas Best Young British Novelists for 2003 and a finalist for the W. H. Smith Literary Award for The Mulberry Empire, he is a columnist for The Independent and chief book reviewer for The Spectator. He lives in South London.