Servants of the Map

A national bestseller in the US – another magnificently imagined and executed book of historical fiction with a contemporary twist, from one of the masters of the form. ‘These stories possess a wonderful clarity and ease, the serene authority of a writer working at the very height of her powers.’ (New York Times)

Ranging across two centuries, and from the western Himalayas to an Adirondack village, Servants of the Map travels the territories of yearning and awakening, of loss and unexpected discovery. A mapper of the highest mountain peaks, engaged on the trigonometrical measurement of British India, realizes his true obsession while in deflationary correspondence with his far-off wife. A young woman afire with scientific curiosity must come to terms with a romantic fantasy. Brothers and sisters, torn apart at an early age, are beset by dreams of reunion.

Throughout, Barrett’s most characteristic theme — the happenings in that borderland between science and desire — unfolds in the diverse lives of unforgettable human beings.

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