2009 · New York
Somerville, a British archaeologist, is excavating a long-buried Assyrian palace. The site lies directly in the path of a new railroad to Baghdad, and he watches nervously as the construction progresses, threatening to destroy his discovery. The expedition party includes Somerville's beautiful, bored wife, Edith; Patricia, a smart young graduate student; and Jehar, an Arab man-of-all-duties whose subservient manner belies his intelligence and ambitions. Posing as an archaeologist, an American geologist from an oil company arrives one day and insinuates himself into the group. But he's not the only one working undercover to stake a claim to Iraq's rich oil fields" (dust jacket). Unsworth is a Booker Prize winning novelist.
First American edition, first issue. Publisher's quarter tan cloth and light blue paper-covered boards, silver lettering to spine; bottom edge of cloth faded. In original pictorial dust jacket. Tiny closed tears to one leaf, interior is otherwise clean. (Inventory #: 40288)