The Laughing Sutra
By Mark Salzman
(Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780679735465, 272pp.)
Publication Date: January 1992
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Iron & Silk, Mark Salzman's bestselling account of his adventures as an English teacher and martial arts student in China, introduced a writer of enormous charm and keen insight into the cultural chasm between East and West. Now Salzman returns to China in his first novel, which follows the adventures of Hsun-ching, a naive but courageous orphan, and the formidable and mysterious Colonel Sun, who together travel from mainland China to San Francisco, risking everything to track down an elusive Buddhist scripture called The Laughing Sutra. Part Tom Sawyer, part Tom Jones, The Laughing Sutra draws us into an irresistible narrative of danger and comedy that speaks volumes about the nature of freedom and the meaning of loyalty.