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The Incarnations (Hardcover)

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    Staff Reviews

    In 2007 Beijing, with the anticipatory glare of the Olympics hanging like smog, driver Wang Yu finds a too personal anonymous letter in his taxi claiming to have known him for lifetimes. Six, to be exact. He goes to the police, but with nothing but the letter, they laugh it off. More letters begin to appear from his biographer, chronicling each of these past lives. The resulting read is an immersive tour of Chinese history, recent and long past. Sinister, lyrical, gripping, and imaginative, The Incarnations will stick with you long after you finish. (Ashanti)

    — From Ashanti


    New York Times Notable Book of 2015
    Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2015
    Finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Prize for Fiction
    Winner of a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize

    Hailed by The New York Times for its "wildly ambitious...dazzling use of language" and "mesmerizing storytelling," The Incarnations is a "brilliant, mind-expanding, and wildly original novel" (Chris Cleave) about a Beijing taxi driver whose past incarnations over one thousand years haunt him through searing letters sent by his mysterious soulmate.

    Who are you? you must be wondering. I am your soulmate, your old friend, and I have come back to this city of sixteen million in search of you.

    So begins the first letter that falls into Wang's lap as he flips down the visor in his taxi. The letters that follow are filled with the stories of Wang's previous lives--from escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, to being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, to living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars, and being a teenager on the Red Guard during the cultural revolution--bound to his mysterious "soulmate," spanning one thousand years of betrayal and intrigue.

    As the letters continue to appear seemingly out of thin air, Wang becomes convinced that someone is watching him--someone who claims to have known him for over one thousand years. And with each letter, Wang feels the watcher growing closer and closer...

    Seamlessly weaving Chinese folklore, history, and literary classics, The Incarnations is a taut and gripping novel that sheds light on the cyclical nature of history as it hints that the past is never truly settled.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781501106781
    ISBN-10: 1501106783
    Publisher: Touchstone Books
    Publication Date: August 18th, 2015
    Pages: 384
    Language: English