Philip Hensher’s historical novel about the 1830s British-Afghan conflict focuses on the complex relationship between two of the leading players.

The novel recounts an episode in central Asia’s Great Game - the British courtship, betrayal and invasion of Afghanistan in the 1830s, followed by Afghani insurrection and the summary bloody expulsion of the British from Kabul. At the story’s heart is the encounter between West and East, as embodied in the likeable, complex relationship between Alexander Burnes, leader of the initial British expeditionary party, and the wily, cultured Afghani ruler, the Amir Dost Mohammed Khan.

The Man Booker Prize 2002
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Philip Hensher

Philip Hensher

About the Author

Philip Hensher is an author and journalist who was chosen by Granta to appear on their prestigious, once-a-decade list of the twenty best young British novelists.
More about Philip Hensher

Other nominated books by Philip Hensher

The Northern Clemency