Before something becomes history, there are infinite possibilities. Adopting this life philosophy forever changes Professor Hamilton West’s life. The year is 1989, the year everything unexpected happened: the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the massacre at Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is the beginning of the end of an era, but Hamilton has the notion that it is the end of much more – the end of history itself. After getting in trouble with his dean, Hamilton finds himself on a sabbatical, joined by his 75-year-old communist uncle Andy, off to Asia in a desperate search for “anything new.” Their adventure includes a team of travelling misfits: Hamilton's new lover, a former All American tackle, and a Brahman elder, along with his young, delectable Californian wife. At the start of their adventure Hamilton makes a promise to his cousin and best friend, Jud, to rewrite the story of their common relatives: the Benjamin family. Locked away in hotel rooms with a Zenith 286 laptop, the lives of Judah P. Benjamin (Secretary of State for the Confederate States of America), his brother Malachi (founder of Altamaha, Georgia), and all the Benjamins thereafter begin to unfold. Following the epic tradition of the Odyssey and Don Quixote, Tom Darby's first novel meanders across time and space, interconnecting three narratives through family lineage and circumstance. Darby's storytelling has the intricate detail and unifying qualities of John Irving, with Pat Conroy's deep-rooted appreciation for the American South. His language – frank, funny and at times a little foul-mouthed – is entirely his own.