It is the early fifties in Badminton, Johannesburg, where all the street-names recall British kings and queens and where retired soldiers relive the desert war in their dusty gardens. This small-town dreamscape erupts with the arrival of Nathan J. Swirsky, a pink volcano with an extravagant moustache; a magical pharmacist who speaks of exotic travels to faraway, forbidden places. In alarm and delight, the children of Badminton observe his unlikely resurrection .
Christopher Hope was born in Johannesburg in 1944. He is the author of nine novels and one collection of short stories, including Kruger's Alp, which won the Whitbread Prize for Fiction, Serenity House, which was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize; and My Mother's Lovers, published by Atlantic Books in 2006 to great acclaim. He is also a poet and playwright and author of the acclaimed memoir White Boy Running (1988).