Set in the eighteenth-century Calcutta, the second city of the Empire is teeming with scandalous gossip and rumour. Abravanel Ben Obadiah Ben Aharon Kabariti, Sephardic Jew from Syria and trader in novelties such as corsets, aphrodisiacs and zebras, befriends the British officers and the local elite by day and records their escapades by night in a leather-bound journal. 1950s Paris. A battered copy of the journal surfaces in a hole-in-the-wall antique shop in Montmartre. London, 2002. A phone rings in the East End, late at night, announcing a death and an inheritance: a silver lighter, a vintage motorcycle, an ancient radio and "The Barn Owl's Wondrous Capers". What follows is a bizarre chain of events involving eccentric zamindars, a decadent aristocrat with a passion for lady footballers, a psychic cartographer, a haunted office building and, at the centre of it all, Digital Dutta, neighbourhood historian and keeper of secrets.
Sarnath Banerjee studied image and communication at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of India's first graphic novel, Corridor, and his work has appeared in various magazines and newspapers.