In 1919, Mohammed el Adl, the young Egyptian lover of British author E.M. Forster, spent six months in a jail cell. A century later, Kip Starling has locked himself in his Brooklyn basement study with a pistol and 21 gallons of Poland Spring to write Mohammed's story.Kip has only three weeks until his publisher's deadline to immerse himself in the mind of Mohammed who, like Kip, is Black, queer, an Other. The similarities don't end there. Both of their lives have been deeply affected by their confrontations with Whiteness, homophobia, their upper crust education, and their white romantic partners. As Kip immerses himself in his writing, Mohammed's story - and then Mohammed himself - begins to speak to him, and his life becomes a Proustian portal into Kip's own memories and psyche.