Nicholas Jose Red Thread

ISBN 13: 9780571206490

Red Thread

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9780571206490: Red Thread

An elegant and multi-layered novel, drawing comparisons with Memoirs of a Geisha and The English Patient, The Red Thread is rich, moving and unforgettable. Set in contemporary Shanghai, it is the story of an intense passion between Shen, a Chinese art dealer, and Ruth, a young Australian woman. As they fall in love, Shen finds that their lives are strangely mirrored in a rare Chinese manuscript which is nearly two hundred years old and of which the last two chapters have never been found. When Ruth falls prey to a terminal illness, Shen embarks on a desperate quest for the missing chapters hoping somehow to find a cure for the disease. But time is running out ...

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About the Author:

Nicholas Jose was born in 1952, in London of South Australian parents, and grew up in Broken Hill, Traralgon, Perth and Adelaide. He was educated in South Australia and at the Australian National University, Canberra and Oxford University. He has travelled widely, and has lived and worked in Italy, England, Australia and China. In 1986-1987 he was attached to the Australian Studies Centre at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and East China Normal University, Shanghai. From 1987 to 1990 he was Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy, Beijing.$$$The Red Thread is Nicholas Jose's sixth novel. The Custodians was published in July 1997 by Picador and was described by Jane Campion as 'an intimate, risk-taking portrait'.$$$His other novels include The Rose Crossing (published in the USA, Germany, France, China and Japan), Rowena's Field, Paper Nautilus and Avenue of Eternal Peace, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Prize in 1990 and adapted into the mini-series Children of the Dragon. Nicholas Jose has also published two collections of short stories - The Possession of Amber and Feathers or Lead.$$$Jose co-translated The Finish Line by Sang Ye, a book of bike rides across China and Australia, and The Ape Herd by Mang Ke. Other recent projects include co-editing Picador New Writing, and a play, Dead City, in a Q Theatre production. He has also published a collection of essays - Chinese Whispers.$$$Nicholas Jose was curatorial advisor on the exhibition projects 'Mao Goes Pop' (1993) and 'Arttaiwan' (1995) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and co-edited Arttaiwan with Yang Wen-i. He has written widely on contemporary Asian and Australian culture.

From Publishers Weekly:

A mysterious but classic work of Chinese literature exerts an influence on an unusual love triangle in this beguiling new novel by Australian writer Jose (The Rose Crossing). In Jose's stylish romance, modern-day Shanghai is a forward-looking economic empire, yet still a city consumed by its pastAghosts haunt temples and lakes, hotels are built on graveyards and the specter of Red China is ubiquitous. These contrasts are personified by Shen Fuling, a young art dealer who along with Australian artist Ruth Garrett and "half glamour queen, half street kid" Han share names with characters in a real memoir entitled Six Chapters of a Floating Life, written by Chinese writer Shen Fu in 1808. Just after Shen receives a first edition of the opening four chapters of the work for auction, he meets Ruth and becomes convinced that he and his soon-to-be lover are reincarnated versions of its protagonists, Shen and Yun. When Han encounters the couple at a nightclub, the connection she feels to Ruth is as strong as Shen's, and the three play out a life that somehow has been lived before. But the incomplete manuscript of Floating Life ends with Yun's death, and Shen's discovery that Ruth has cancer prompts a search for the missing chapters and an alternative ending to the tragic story. Jose's use of Shen Fu's memoir, which he translated himself from the Chinese, is quirky and inventive: lines from the memoir are woven seamlessly into the novel, sometimes uttered by characters in mid-conversation, and culminate in an ingeniously imagined version of the lost two chapters. Red-type passages and sentences appear in both stories as bloodlines, connections to the past. Sections from Floating Life, symbolizing the ever-renewing passion of its lovers, dominate, but the highlighted fragments of Shen Fu's story are the most potent, a reminder of the immutability of art in a world where history has ostensibly given way to commerce. For those who share Jose's sensibilities, his tale lingers well after the last page. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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