"The Indian city of Benares, the holy City of Light on the shores of the Ganges, is one of the oldest cities in the world, and one of the most frequently photographed. In this, his first book, New York photographer Michael Ackerman has created an overwhelming and deeply personal portrait of the city which he visited for the first time in 1991. Eschewing stereotypical representations of Benares, Ackerman's photographs testify to the sensitivity of the personal relationship he forged with the city: intense glances from people in the streets, dreamlike observations of a monkey balancing through electrical wires, moving and dignified images of mourners at the cremation grounds. Working in a variety of formats. Ackerman creates a moving and radically personal portrait of human life and death that transcends the particularities of this ancient city and speaks universally."