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Ten Thousand Things

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The Ten Thousand Things

John Spurling

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ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-1012-2
Trim Size: 5 3/8 x 8

Product Description

A sweeping historical novel that deserves to be compared to the classic Chinese novels that partly inspired it, The Ten Thousand Things is nothing short of a literary event. Set on the cusp of the Ming Dynasty, it is a novel of fated meetings, grand battles, and riveting drama. Wang Meng is a low-level bureaucrat—and also an extraordinarily gifted artist—and as he wanders through a landscape at once stunning and haunting, he discovers an empire in turmoil. Rich with exquisite observations and thrilling action, The Ten Thousand Things brings the past to vivid, resonant life.

Praise for The Ten Thousand Things:

I was amazed by The Ten Thousand Things, and by John Spurling’s powerful imagination—with ten thousand details, he has brought the ancient Chinese artist Wang Meng to life in beautiful prose.” —Xinran, author of Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love

“In this immersive tale of a landscape artist’s life, written with restrained lyricism, John Spurling has also given us an entertaining and insightful study about the art of Nature, and the nature of Art.” —Tan Twan Eng

[Combines] the delicacy of an old Chinese landscape painting with the brutality of Chinese history . . . The narrative resounds with the vivid detail and the ever-changing tides of war and politics, art and nature.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Ten Thousand Things is a truly remarkable achievement. In writing about the fourteenth-century Chinese artist Wang Meng, John Spurling has evoked a world that seems utterly alive and relevant today. Dramatic, absorbing, tender and profound, Spurling's book is written with a level of exquisite descriptive detail that makes the reader feel as if led into the enchanted and forbidding landscape of one of Wang Meng's own real-life works. Anybody who feels despondent about the future of fiction should read and take heart from this extraordinary and wonderful book.” —Miranda Seymour

This is mostly a quiet novel, but a rich one . . . Readers will feel lucky to watch [Wang Meng's] journey and share his thoughts.” —Booklist

“This is an extraordinary novel. Spurling brings together his strengths as a dramatist, an art critic, and a novelist. It is an impressive combination that gives a tone of authenticity to his absorbing story and adds to its enjoyment. I look forward to the film.” —Michael Holroyd

“Wang Meng is one of the most fascinating figures in Chinese history. In this lucid and brilliant novel, John Spurling uses him as a key character to recreate the end of an empire. A vivid evocation of a turbulent era with echoes of debates today about loyalty, choices, and artistic integrity.” —Rana Mitter

"The great strength of this novel is not so much the plot but the rich detail that sets the reader int he middle of China. As Wang paints waterfalls and witnesses beheadings, Spruling paints an exquisite story of a deeply decent men and his surroundings. Spurling's novel is a work of art in itself. A thoroughly enjoyable literary sojourn by a master of historical fiction." —Kirkus, Starred Review

John Spurling is the author of the novels The Ragged End, After Zenda, and A Book of Liszts. He is a frequent reviewer and was the art critic for The New Statesman. He lives in London and Arcadia, Greece with his wife, the biographer Hilary Spurling.

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