Touchstone Books, Hardcover, 9781501106781, 384pp.
Publication Date: August 18, 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.
In Susan Barker's novel, a few strange letters bloom into a saga of two souls' reincarnations. Barker says her characters' many lives gave her an instrument to explore China â�� both past and present. More at NPR.org
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