Peking, 1944: Sir Edmund Backhouse is a man of many parts.A polyglot scholar. An effete homosexual. A genius of perversity, a forger, arms salesman, occasional spy and fantasist.Also, if he is to be believed, the onetime lover of the redoubtable Empress Dowager of China, a woman many decades his senior.In his declining years, tended by his friend, Dr Hoeppli, he writes his memoir -‘a wild tale’, as he calls it, ‘far-fetched and fantastical’- of his affair with the Dowager Empress.
Beijing, 2014: Linnie is an Australian woman of uncertain provenance struggling to make a living in Beijing. A Sinophile, a translator of film subtitles, the author of an unpublished novel about Backhouse called The Empress Lover. One day, she receives an intriguingly old-fashioned and formal invitation from a Professor H, an invitation that promises to reveal long hidden secrets of her family…
And so two worlds collide.
An enchantingly slippery, sinuous, playful - and ultimately very moving - novel of love, loss, identity and history from one of Australia's finest novelists.
‘Jaivin’s writing shines and burns.’ Sunday Age
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|File size||1.1 Mb|
|eBook format||Paperback, (torrent)|
|Book rating||4.13 (28 votes)
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