I am posting a blurb today about The Geographer’s Library. I got it in the mail the other day, enjoyed the first 20 pages, and owe the marketing guy who sent it as he turned me on to Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza about a year ago.
The Geographer’s Library
By Jon Fasman
Published by Penguin Books
February 2006;$14.00US/$20.00CAN; 0-14-303662-9
When a reclusive scholar dies under obscure circumstances, reporter Paul Tomm is assigned to write his obituary. But when the coroner in the case is murdered, Tomm finds himself pursuing a story that began nine hundred years ago with the theft of alchemical instruments from the court geographer of Sicily. As Tomm investigates their present whereabouts, we are introduced to these charmed — and sometimes cursed — artifacts and the men and women who coveted them in ages past: a Genoese merchant, a Soviet engineer, an elderly Chinese father. For the objects in The Geographer’s Library have powers that go well beyond the transmutation of lead into gold.
Author Jon Fasman was born in Chicago in 1975 and grew up in Washington, D.C. Educated at Brown and Oxford universities, he has worked as a journalist in Washington, New York, Oxford, Moscow, and London. His writing has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Slate, Legal Affairs, The Moscow Times, The Washington Post, The Morning News, and The Economist. He now lives in Brooklyn.