A remarkable novel about the Eritrean war, likened to For Whom The Bell Tolls and as relevant today as on its first publication.
During the Eritrean struggle for independence from Ethiopia, four Westerners travel under Eritrean rebel escort through a land of savage beauty and bitter drought towards the ancient capital of Asmara.
Each is on a personal mission, all are irrevocably changed as they bear witness to the devastation of war as well as to the Eritreans' courage and humanity in the face of constant attack.
Keneally has created a passionate, clear-sighted protagonist, and his companions are just as compelling . . . They react and interact in an atmosphere at once dangerous and invigorating - Time Out
Memorable, provocative, full of interest - Literary Review
Keneally advances on the interminable conflict with all his customary assurance and probing curiosity . . . The war springs vividly to life . . . [He] keeps things moving through a brilliantly portrayed landscape - Guardian
A touching tribute to a nation which survives, miraculously, on hope against hope - The Sunday Times
It is a tribute to the power of his narrative that his book reads as the factual account of a journey behind the lines, in the course of which a forgotten history is given flesh and blood - Observer
The landscape and the scenario of war and famine are brilliantly used as a backdrop against which the characters' own internal strife and moral hunger are illuminated - Daily Mail
Not since For Whom the Bell Tolls has a book of such sophistication, the work of a major international novelist, spoken out so unambiguously on behalf of an armed struggle - New York Times Book Review
Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published thirty novels since. They include Schindler's Ark, which won the Booker Prize in 1982 and was subsequently made into the film Schindler's List, and The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith, Confederates and Gossip From The Forest, each of which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His most recent novels are The Daughters Of Mars, which was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize in 2013, and Shame and the Captives. He has also written several works of non-fiction, including his memoir Homebush Boy, Searching for Schindler and Australians. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney.