Just before dawn on July 16, 1942 the French Police began Opération Vent Printanier, or “Operation Spring Breeze.” That morning over 13,000 Jews were forcibly removed from their homes and trudged through the streets of Paris to the Vélodrome d’Hiver, the Winter Bicycle Racetrack, on the rue Nélaton in the city’s fifteenth arrondisement.
We are in the delivery room in Bombay, at midnight on August 14/15, 1947, the moment India and Pakistan are created as independent nations. Two children enter the world simultaneously, one Muslim, one Hindu, and their destinies will be determined by the timing of their birth.
Three brilliant but frustrated editors amuse themselves by inventing European history anew in Umberto Eco’s bestselling novel, Foucault’s Pendulum. The protagonists rearrange names both familiar and obscure from a millennium of European politics, religion, and science to create a dizzying alternative narrative of Templar plots, secret society schemes, and occultist conspiracies.