Bholanath and Khudabaksh are two soldiers in the British Indian Army, sent off to Europe to fight in World War I. One happens to be Hindu and the other happens to be Muslim, but that doesn't keep them from being the best of friends. When a mission in a surveillance balloon goes awry, these two gentle soldiers-along with an exceptionally ill-tempered squirrel-are set adrift high above the Western Front. What follows is a grand tragicomic adventure, taking them into the heavens and across a continent gone mad with war. Together, they learn about the worst humankind can do . . . and how true friends, however unalike their identities may be, can soar above it all.
AMIT MAJMUDAR is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist who lives in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife and three children. He is the author of three volumes of poetry, most recently Dothead. His first collection, 0°, 0°, was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award; his second, Heaven and Earth, was selected for the 2011 Donald Justice Prize. His work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Best of the Best American Poetry and many other publications, including the eleventh edition of The Norton Introduction to Literature. He blogs for the Kenyon Review and is also a critically acclaimed novelist.