Kunal Basu was born in Calcutta and has travelled widely. He teaches at Oxford University and is married with one daughter. Author of three acclaimed novels - The Opium Clerk, The Miniaturist, and Racists - he has acted in films and on stage, written poetry and screenplays. The Japanese Wife has been made into a film by India's celebrated director Aparna Sen. For more information, log on to www.kunalbasu.com
Hiran is born in 1857: the year of Mutiny and the year his father dies. Brought to Calcutta by his widowed mother he turns out to have few talents, apart from an uncanny ability to read a man's lies in his palm. When luck gets him a job at the auction house, Hiran finds himself embroiled in a mysterious trade, and even more deeply embroiled in the affairs of his nefarious superior, the infamous Mr Jonathan Crabbe and his opium addicted wife. An unlikely hero, Hiran is caught up in rebellion and war, buffeted by storms at sea, by love and intrigue, innocently implicated in fraud and dark dealings.