A gripping account of an under-reported island’ Spectator, Book of the Year ‘[A] brilliant new book about an island that has a geography from heaven and a history from hell’ Daily Telegraph ‘A brilliant work of travel, history and psychological insight . . . astute and sympathetic . . . very funny’ Wall Street Journal Everyone has wanted a piece of paradise John Gimlette – winner of the Dolman Prize and the Shiva Naipaul Prize for Travel Writing – is the kind of traveller you’d want by your side. Whether hacking a centuries-old path through the jungle, interrogating the surviving members of the Tamil Tigers or observing the stranger social mores of Colombo’s city life, he brings his own unique insight to the page: a treasure-chest of research and a gift for wry amusement. Through him, Sri Lanka – all at once dazzling, strange, conflicted and beautiful – comes to life as never before.