Diya Das' novel is based on an honors project completed during her junior year at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, PA. It is a historical fiction told through three venues - San Francisco (1917-1918), Chicago (1980-1981) and New York (2005). The end result is a conglomeration of American history, literature and fiction. Das, a first generation Indian immigrant, decided to write about Indian-American encounters throughout American history. Early 20th century turbaned tide of Indian agricultural laborers U.S. Ghadr Party seeking Indian independence from Britain WWI era Hindu-German conspiracy trial Transcendentalist comparison of the writings of Walt Whitman and Rabindranath Tagore Immigration Act of 1965 eliminates quotas and the Pacific Barred Zone Post-1965 immigration wave of Indian professionals 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan resulting in U.S. arms negotiations with India and Pakistan Deepavali, Hindu festival Indian American subculture in the new millennium Bhangra music and dance Indian American response to 9-11 Das' research ended up taking her on a personal journey. The entire odyssey relates to herself - where facts and imagination did not create a coherent story - Das substitutes elements of her own life.