The island nation of Sri Lanka is home to around 5,800 elephants. The lumbering creatures traverse the teardrop island on alimankadas
, or elephant paths, their entire lives, circling back to the same well-trodden routes again and again. In his latest book Elephant Complex
, journalist John Gimlette employs the metaphor to explore Sri Lankan history, which, he writes, “never feels quite circular. Rather, there are recurring series of points of arrival and departure …No one is quite back where they started, and yet the same story will begin again, perhaps somewhere else.