It is the Shanghai of courtesans and concubines, danger and decadence, updated to 2020. American expat author Isham Cook has disappeared. His last known history is chronicled by an exotic woman who seems right out of 1930s Shanghai herself, Marguerite, a mustachioed Afghan-American who weaves Persian rugs and deals in psychedelics. As she tells it, Isham’s story all began with Luna, a beguiling but troubled Chinese woman who happens to have a mustache too. Also vying for Isham’s affection is the charismatic Kitty, who conspires to entrap him in a cyberweb of obsession and betrayal.
Fans of Cook’s fiction will recognize in this psychological thriller set in modern China his signature world of startling plot turns and his unsettling yet compelling landscape of ideas.
“I can’t think of any other white-boy author who has re-imagined himself as an Asiatic female in order to psychoanalyze his past relationships, and in that regard Isham Cook has crafted a truly gender-and-genre-bending work of literature.”—Tom Carter, author of An American Bum in China
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