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y separately published work icon The Empress Lover single work   novel   historical fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 The Empress Lover
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

''Stories are the only thing that defy death. Stories are truth. I hereby give you mine...' 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 A Sinophile, a translator of film subtitles, the author of an unpublished novel about Backhouse called The Empress Lover.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. ' (Publication abstract)

Notes

  • Dedication:

    For Geremie

    and in loving memory of my father

    Lewis Jaivin (1923-2013)

  • Epigraph:

    Now I do not know whether I was then a man

    dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a

    butterfly dreaming I am a man.

    –Zhuangzi (translated by Yutang)

    We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful

    about what we pretend to be.

    –Kurt Vonnegut

    I saw lots of fucking tulips, as promised.

    –J.D. Salinger, letter to Michael Mitchell about his 1994

    European holiday

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney South, South Sydney area, Sydney Southern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: HarperCollins , 2014 .
      image of person or book cover 6716462799022234282.jpeg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 318p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 1 April 2014
      ISBN: 9780730497752

Works about this Work

History, Mystery, Romance : Complications in China A Quest for Identity Finds Its Meaning in China Sara Dowse , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 3-4 May 2014; (p. 35) The Age , 3 May 2014; (p. 33)

— Review of The Empress Lover Linda Jaivin , 2014 single work novel
Mixing Fact with Fable in a Tall Tale Alison Broinowski , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 26 April 2014; (p. 21)

— Review of The Empress Lover Linda Jaivin , 2014 single work novel
Interview : Linda Jaivin Linda Morris , 2014 single work interview
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 12 -13 April 2014; (p. 30-31) The Canberra Times , 12 April 2014; (p. 19) The Age , 12 April 2014; (p. 30)
'Life is complicated - but that is what gives it frisson for this traveller, translator and writer.'
So Fuza Kate Holden , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 360 2014; (p. 21)

— Review of The Empress Lover Linda Jaivin , 2014 single work novel
The Writer, and Her Place in the Chinese Puzzle Diane Stubbings , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 5-6 April 2014; (p. 16-17)

— Review of The Empress Lover Linda Jaivin , 2014 single work novel
The Writer, and Her Place in the Chinese Puzzle Diane Stubbings , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 5-6 April 2014; (p. 16-17)

— Review of The Empress Lover Linda Jaivin , 2014 single work novel
So Fuza Kate Holden , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 360 2014; (p. 21)

— Review of The Empress Lover Linda Jaivin , 2014 single work novel
Mixing Fact with Fable in a Tall Tale Alison Broinowski , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 26 April 2014; (p. 21)

— Review of The Empress Lover Linda Jaivin , 2014 single work novel
History, Mystery, Romance : Complications in China A Quest for Identity Finds Its Meaning in China Sara Dowse , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 3-4 May 2014; (p. 35) The Age , 3 May 2014; (p. 33)

— Review of The Empress Lover Linda Jaivin , 2014 single work novel
Interview : Linda Jaivin Linda Morris , 2014 single work interview
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 12 -13 April 2014; (p. 30-31) The Canberra Times , 12 April 2014; (p. 19) The Age , 12 April 2014; (p. 30)
'Life is complicated - but that is what gives it frisson for this traveller, translator and writer.'
Last amended 14 Oct 2016 08:54:48
Settings:
  • Peking,
  • Beijing,
    c
    China,
    c
    East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • 1944
  • 2014
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