The China Lover

Front Cover
Atlantic Books, 2009 - Japan - 320 pages
5 Reviews

'An extraordinary story . . . told wonderfully well'
Victoria James, Independent

When Sidney Vanoven is sent to occupied Japan, in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, it is his dream posting. By day, he works in the censor's office watching Japanese films; at night he immerses himself in the sensual pleasures of Tokyo.

His job leads him into the circle of the beautiful film star Shirley Yamaguchi, a passionate and indomitable woman, whose wartime secrets hint at deception and betrayal. As he learns more of her story it seems to echo Japan's own dark secrets . . .

In The China Lover, Ian Buruma has created an exhilarating saga of war-torn Japan that is epic in scale, richly imagined and vividly populated. It is quite simply unforgettable.

'Richly textured and full of fascinating detail'
Mariella Frostrup, Observer Christmas Books

'Packed with colour and incident . . . An extraordinary feat'
Robert Hanks, New Statesman

'Passionate and intimate' James Urquhart, Independent on Sunday

'An exciting and revealing noveL.. Strange and beguiling' Susanna Jones, Literary Review

'Buruma skillfully weaves his tale around the real events of Yoshiko's extraordinary life, with well-known names such as Frank Capra, Truman Capote and Sam Fuller appearing among the supporting cast. Insightful and intriguing' John Walshe, Sunday Business Post

'With a sharp yet generous eye, Buruma explores the moods and sensibilities of the movie business in wartime Shanghai and postwar Tokyo. The China Lover overflows with intriguing characters. fmely drawn and true to the spirit of the history it covers.' Seth Faison, Los Angeles Times


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

Told from the perspective of three different men, each giving his perspective on the life of one woman (Otaka Yoshiko / Yoshiko Yamaguchi / Ri Koran), this is an interesting [fictionalized] biography ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - maryreinert - LibraryThing

If you like intricate plots, interesting characters, foreign settings, and historical accuracy, this is a book for you. I knew absolutely nothing about Japanese/Chinese relations or Manchuria during ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Ian Buruma is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College. His many books include "Anglomania" (Random House), "Inventing Japan" (Modern Library), and "Murder in Amsterdam" (Penguin), which won a "Los Angeles Times" Book Award. He is a regular contributor to many publications, including the "New York Review of Books," the "New Yorker," the "Guardian," and the "Financial Times.

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