a book review essay for Peacehawks, by James V. Arbuckle
The books reviewed in this essay are:
The Man from Beijing, by Henning Mankell, Harvill Secker, London, 2008
Lost in Translation, by Nicole Mones, Delta, New York, 1998
Forbidden Fruit – 1980 Beijing (A Memoir), by Gail Pellett, Van Dam, New York, 2016
The three books discussed here, two novels and a memoir, give us differing but intersecting views of the colossus of our age: China. The two works of fiction, one a crime novel and the other a romance, are in fact both historical novels: both are closely linked to facts, but both provide a degree of intimacy and insight that straight historical work usually cannot. However, as we will note later, the ever-engaging Gail Pellett achieves a novelistic immediacy and intimacy in her Memoir.