These very imaginative and super creative stories pull from history and current events. I was surprised how lost I got in this book which included romance, history, humor, and sometimes very dark passages. The story of a trip to the remote village to record the language's last surviving speaker was so interesting, and I found it fascinating. This book is creative, interesting, and full of wonder. I loved getting swept up in it, and that it has so many layers and interests that relate to current times as well. — Mary Jo, Vancouver
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian and NPR
"A writer who is gifted not just with extraordinary talent but also with a subtle, original, and probing mind." --Amitav Ghosh
In one of the singularly imaginative stories from Kanishk Tharoor's Swimmer Among the Stars, despondent diplomats entertain themselves by playing table tennis in zero gravity--for after rising seas destroy Manhattan, the United Nations moves to an orbiting space hotel. In other tales, a team of anthropologists treks to a remote village to record a language's last surviving speaker intoning her native tongue; an elephant and his driver cross the ocean to meet the whims of a Moroccan princess; and Genghis Khan's marauding army steadily approaches an unnamed city's walls.
With exuberant originality and startling vision, Tharoor cuts against the grain of literary convention, drawing equally from ancient history and current events. His world-spanning stories speak to contemporary challenges of environmental collapse and cultural appropriation, but also to the workings of legend and their timeless human truths. Whether refashioning the romances of Alexander the Great or confronting the plight of today's refugees, Tharoor writes with distinctive insight and remarkable assurance. Swimmer Among the Stars announces the arrival of a vital, enchanting talent.