Stock Image

The Lost Glass Plates of Wilfred Eng

Orton, Thomas

ISBN 10: 1582430233 / ISBN 13: 9781582430232
Published by Counterpoint, 1999
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
Buy Used
Price: US$ 50.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 6.00 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

Offered By

SYLVESTER & ORPHANOS
SAN MARCOS, CA, U.S.A.

2-star rating

AbeBooks Seller Since December 11, 1999

About this Item

1582430233 Author's first book. Dj blurb by James Welch. Bookseller Inventory # 004797

Quantity Available: 1

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Lost Glass Plates of Wilfred Eng

Publisher: Counterpoint

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Disgraced photo dealer and art historian Robert Armour stumbles upon the long-lost glass negatives of Chinese-American photographer Wilfred Eng. The plates, nudes of a beautiful young woman taken in 1874, bring certainty to the rumor of an interracial affair between Eng and Ellen McFarland, wife of the business tycoon who was Eng's patron. Their difficult affair becomes an obsession for Armour and the backdrop for the novel as he struggles for professional redemption and love.

Review:

The protagonist of Thomas Orton's debut novel is running out of second chances. Once the respected owner of an exclusive photo gallery in San Francisco, Robert Armour ruined his career when he sold "newly discovered" Edward Weston erotica that turned out to be fakes. Now he's started a new life for himself in Seattle, writing articles and acting as agent in the occasional photo sale. Though his work life has taken a nosedive, Robert has found personal happiness with Diane Mays and her 8-year-old son, Budge. Then one day Judith Lund, an artist wannabe with more money than talent, asks him to evaluate four glass negatives she unearthed in the basement of an apartment building she owns, and his life is turned unexpectedly upside down. The plates turn out to be self-portraits of the famous 19th-century Chinese American landscape photographer Wilfred Eng. What's more, these four are not the only ones. Down in the basement, Robert discovers more negatives--nude portraits of a beautiful young Caucasian woman who could only be Ellen McFarland, wife of Eng's patron, and rumored to be his mistress. Suddenly, Robert has the means of salvaging his career in his hands--if he's willing to risk losing everything, including Diane, to play a dirty game:

Judith, having heard me kick her door and shout when I'd come back up from the basement, would have assumed I was after her to sign my check. Later, if she confronted me about the missing broken plate, I could claim I'd never seen it, that it was rather a hunch and some subsequent research that had led me to believe the plates were Eng's. She couldn't prove otherwise.... Everything about this plan was workable except for Diane. Eventually I'd have to tell her what I'd done, though just now I didn't like to imagine what she would think.
Thomas Orton punctuates his hero's perilous descent with passages from Wilfred Eng's writings, as well as from Ellen McFarland's diaries detailing her passionate affair with, and eventual betrayal by, Eng. As Robert's life unravels, he reluctantly recognizes certain parallels between his own actions and those of the unhappy photographer--but will he be granted yet another chance to make things right this time? Orton has crafted a tale that is part love story, part thriller, and wholly engrossing. --Alix Wilber

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

We specialize in Modern First Editions, Plays, Books on the Theatre and Cinema, Ethinc American Literature and Social Studies, Gay & Lesbian Literature and Social Studies, etc. We also published Limited-Signed Books, printed by letterpress and bound by hand, of notable American & international authors that include Paul Bowles, John Cheever, Nadine Gordimer, Graham Greene, Christopher Isherwood, James Merrill, V.S. Naipaul, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, William Styron, John Updike, Gore Vidal, and Tennessee Williams.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

ALL BOOKS ARE FIRST EDITIONS AND IN FINE CONDITION UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. ALL DUST JACKETS, AND THEIR CONDITIONS, ARE INDICATED WHEN PRESENT. ANY BOOK RETURNED MUST BE WITHIN 10 DAYS OF RECEIPT. CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS WILL BE CHARGED APPLICABLE SALES TAX. DOMESTIC MEDIA MAIL POSTAGE & HANDLING FEES ARE AS FOLLOWS: $6 FOR THE FIRST BOOK ORDERED AND $2 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL BOOK. INSURANCE IS EXTRA. ORDERS SENT UNINSURED ARE SENT AT THE RECIPIENT'S RISK. ALL DOMESTIC SHIPPED BOOKS WILL BE SENT WI...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express