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Ampersand Key Titles Shipping October 2022 ATL

The Lost Century
By (author): Larissa Lai
Larissa Lai


Arsenal Pulp Press - Vancouver



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade
Oct 18, 2022
$24.95 CAD


9in x 6 x 1 in | 590 gr

Page Count:

374 pages
FSC certified – mixed sources
Arsenal Pulp Press
FICTION / Historical / General

Lambda Literary Award winner Larissa Lai (The Tiger Flu) returns with a sprawling historical novel about war, colonialism, love, and loyalty during Japan's occupation of Hong Kong in World War II.

On the eve of the return of the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong to China in 1997, young Ophelia asks her peculiar great-aunt Violet about the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II, the disappearance of her uncle Raymond, and whether her grandmother, Emily, was a murderer.

Emily's marriage - three times - to her father's mortal enemy causes a stir among three very different Hong Kong Chinese families, as well as among the young cricketers at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, who've just witnessed King Edward VIII's abdication to marry Wallis Simpson. But the bickering around the scandal of Emily's marriage is violently disrupted by the Japanese Imperial Army's invasion of Hong Kong on Christmas Day, 1941, which plunges the colony into a landscape of violence none of its inhabitants escape from unscathed, least of all Emily. When her sister's situation becomes dire, Violet, along with a crew of unlikely cosmopolitans, hatches a plan to rescue Emily from the wrath of the person she thought loved her the most - her husband, Tak-Wing. In the middle of it all, a strange match of timeless Test cricket unfolds in which the ball has an agency all its own.

With great heart, The Lost Century explores the intersections of Asian relations, queer Asian history, underground resistance, the violence of war, and the rise of modern China - a sprawling novel of betrayal, epic violence, and intimate passions.

Larissa Lai is the author of three novels, The Tiger Flu (Lambda Literary Award winner), Salt Fish Girl, and When Fox is a Thousand, and three poetry books, Sybil Unrest (with Rita Wong), Automaton Biographies (shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), and Iron Goddess of Mercy. She is also the winner of Lambda Literary's Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize, and an Astraea Foundation Award. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary where she directs the Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing.. Her latest novel, The Lost Century, will publish in fall 2022.

Contributor Website

In an ambitious and riveting family saga of Hong Kong that weighs the innocence and optimism of youth against the brutal realities of war and imperialism, racism and misogyny, these pages also probe the complex identity of the colony as travellers from Newfoundland and northern Saskatchewan, Japan and Jamaica pass through. 'How do we remember,' Lai asks,'and why is what we know of the past so full of holes?'" -Paul Yee, author of A Superior Man

The Lost Century is a war story unlike anything you’ve read. It provides a brilliant window into a history that is far too little-known in the west, and it upends prevailing understandings of colonial power, race and national identity during World War II. It is also a wonderfully warm and generous story that highlights love, humour and camaraderie as modes of intercultural alliance. Larissa Lai's narrative magic shows us how history unfolds through intimate relationships - often in unexpected ways. -Warren Cariou, author of Lake of the Prairies

The Lost Century is a marvel: tender, funny, beautiful, yet so very telling of yet another chapter of nations and their peoples brutalized by the savagery of British colonialism. Ultimately what remains is the stories of precious lives and relationships. With Larissa Lai as its scribe, no century can be entirely lost. -Nalo Hopkinson, author of Brown Girl in the Ring

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Also Available

Iron Goddess of Mercy Larissa Lai 9781551528441 $19.95 CAD Feb 18, 2021
The Tiger Flu Larissa Lai 9781551527314 $21.95 CAD Sep 01, 2018

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