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The central story is of a male narrator who is drawn into the historical puzzle surrounding a woman, and from there, via affection for her, into an act of tragic failure. The story is inseparable from the style, which is immediate and conversational, and from the setting, which is the Middle East. The main themes of reason against impulse, of optimism against guilt, and of detachment against engagement are understated, and the womans story that of a familiar classical myth. Yet by taking the perspective of a good-spirited American logician in a geography of history and light, I mean to offer readers something fresh and sharp and engaging.