'It was and it was not far, where she came from. Some days her birth village felt centuries away, and other days it was too close. She lived, now, in America, in a spare, uncluttered flat with a transient feel.' Prema, a young woman adrift in war-torn rural Nepal, with little to bind her to her family, village and country, wins a green card in a US government lottery and emigrates to Los Angeles. In this unfamiliar metropolis she struggles to invent a life she can call her own, even as love, and sexual awakening, transform her. There are no constants, or signposts, as she navigates the territory of her new world. But her commitment to Esther, the old woman she is employed to care for, her passionate relationship with Luis, her American lover, and her growing involvement with the endangered El Segundo Blue butterfly, give her a fragile sense of belonging. Lyrical and haunting, and also deeply political, this eloquent novel by the celebrated author of The Tutor of History and Forget Kathmandu confirms her reputation as one of the most original and distinctive literary voices from South Asia.