When an epidemic threatens to wipe out the silk trade in France, Herve Joncour, a young silk breeder, has to travel overland to distant Japan, out of bounds to foreigners, to smuggle out healthy silkworms. In the course of his secret negotiations with the local baron, Joncour's attention is arrested by the man's concubine.
Alessandro Baricco is the author of several works of fiction including, Ocean Sea, Silk, and City. He has won the Prix Medicis Atranger in France and the Selezione Campiello, Viareggio, and Palazzo del Bosco literary prizes in Italy. His international bestseller Silk has been translated into twenty-seven languages and is the basis of an opera by Andre Previn.