The Lacquered Talisman (Paperback)
A novel of fourteenth century China
Earnshaw Books, 9789888552467, 300pp.
Publication Date: February 1, 2020
List Price: 19.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
A sweeping coming-of-age epic, The Lacquered Talisman launches the story of one of the most influential figures in Chinese history. He is the son of a beancurd seller and he will found the Ming Dynasty, which ruled China from 1368-1644. Known as “Fortune” as a boy, Zhu Yuanzhang has a large and doting family who shepherd him through hardship until drought ravages the countryside and heralds a plague. Left with nothing but a lacquered necklace from his grandfather, Chen the Diviner, Fortune is deposited in the village temple and is soon wandering the countryside as a begging monk. He encounters pockets of resistance to the ruling Mongol dynasty, studies the stars, and tangles with Taoists as he seeks to understand his destiny. Signs and dreams leave him convinced that he has a special fate. Is he to be the abbot of a monastery? A general? What matters most is that he prove himself to be a filial son.
About the Author
Laurie Dennis grew up in Illinois and Minnesota and has been studying Chinese since she was a high school freshman in Minneapolis. She has worked as a journalist in the U.S. and in Beijing, China, and she has traveled widely across China, including a research trip to Fengyang, Anhui Province, the birthplace of the founder of the Ming Dynasty. She currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and works on China programs for her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is her first novel.