The Afterlife of Emerson Tang

The Afterlife of Emerson Tang Cover

The Afterlife of Emerson Tang

By Paula Champa

Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780547792781, 336pp.

Publication Date: March 12, 2013

Description
A beloved car becomes a piece of us a way back into our histories or forward into our destinies. For Emerson Tang, the only son of a prominent New England family, that car is a 1954 Beacon. A collector of art and experience Emerson keeps his prized possession safely stored away. But when his health begins to fail, his archivist and caretaker is approached by a secretive French painter determined to buy the Beacon at any cost. They discover that the Beacon has been compromised and that its importance reaches far beyond Emerson's own history.
Soon they run into another who shares their obsession: the heir to the ruined Beacon Motor Company, who is determined to restore his grandfather's legacy. These four become unlikely adventurers, united in their aim to reunite the Beacon's original body and engine, pitted against one another in their quest to claim it. Each new clue takes one closer to triumph, but also takes these characters, each grieving a deep loss, toward finding missing pieces of their own lives.
A fast-paced ride through the twentieth century to modernism, fascism, and industrialism, to Manhattan, a German zeppelin, a famed concours in Pebble Beach, and a road race in Italy "The Afterlife of Emerson Tang" takes us deep into our complicated automotive romance. A novel of strangers connected across time, through a car that is so much more than a car, it asks us what should be preserved, what memories to trust, and whether or not some of the legacies we hold most dear including that grand contraption, the automobile can be made new again.


Praise For The Afterlife of Emerson Tang

"In these pages, Paula Champa conceives the ideal automobile: a total fusion of power and beauty. Her stunning first novel likewise brings those qualities into perfect balance. The raw emotion of her story and the restrained elegance of her writing together make for a literary tour de force."
—Jonathon Keats, author of The Book of the Unknown

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