Douglas Pitt is a man obsessed. His quest to prove the genius of Samuel Highgate Syme, inventor and pioneering American geologist, has stalled. Pitt's postulation is simple enough: Syme, through some fault, wrong-doing or mischance, has not been credited for hitting upon the key-discovery of modern geology - the theory of continental drift. Laughed at and dismissed at every turn, Pitt's luck changes when he discovers a contemporary manuscript written by a scientist, Friedrich Muller, which recounts a year (1821) in the company of the irrepressible Syme. Perhaps this will finally reveal his genius . . .
Benjamin Markovits is twenty-nine, and The Syme Papers is his first novel. Originally from Texas, he now lives in London and writes for the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement.