What might it be like to encounter a country and its landscape not through a travel guide, or a book tied to facts, but through the eyes and the imaginative universe of its greatest storytellers? India: A Traveller's Literary Companion is just such a book: a celebration of not only the centrality of place and landscape to the making of literature, but also of the enormously diverse world of Indian storytelling. Here are more than a dozen stories by Indian writers, each one set in a different part of the country, that are strongly marked by a feel not just for characters and narrative, but also for place. Collectively, they provide a sense of the country that will delight both the wandering traveller and the armchair one. See Kashmir's fabled vistas through the eyes of Salman Rushdie, as he takes you to the scene of a stricken household and a grand theft in Srinagar. Go back four centuries in time to the Taj Mahal with Kunal Basu, as the humble accountant of his story becomes, in a past incarnation, the architect of one of the world's most resplendent monuments. Enter, with Vikram Chandra, the secret vortexes of power in Mumbai, where a small-time thug fences some gold bars he has stolen and then decides to find out what pleasures his money can buy. Journey with Krishnalal, Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay's silver-tongued salesman of medicated oil, as he goes up and down the trains around Kolkata, the city he loves. Sit down with Fakir Mohan Senapati by the village pond, a source of water, news and gossip. And let Nazir Mansuri send you pitching on the high seas off the Gujarat coast, where a raging sailor makes every whale he sees the object of his fury. Both the riches of Indian writing in English and Indian writing in translation are given their place in this anthology, put together by Chandrahas Choudhury, one of the country's best young writers and literary critics. Supported by an essay on Indian literature by the editor and a foreword by the novelist Anita Desai, India: A Traveller's Literary Companion is not just the crystallization of a theme, but also an ideal short introduction to modern Indian fiction.