*2008 China Times Open Book Award
*2008 Asia Weekly Top Ten Chinese Novel of the Year
*2009 Golden Tripod Award - Literature
As the award list shows, this story of intrigue, history, and memory represents one of literary star Lou Yi-Chun’s most acclaimed works to date. A young man on a journey to find the truth behind his wife’s murder finds himself lodging at a motel of endless rooms, which are filled with people and stories both familiar and foreign. This labyrinth of unreliable images still leads the protagonist to the story of his wife’s death, and unveils his own true character to the reader.
Lou Yi-Chun’s narrative shifts not only between speakers but also between historical eras and modes of speaking, blending myth and history with first-person experience. He brings the reader as far back as the Mongol invasion of the Tangut kingdom, revisiting the tale of the Tangut king murdering his seven concubines before Mongol horsemen arrive.
Allegories of occupation and invasion intertwine with a story of personal redemption as Lou Yi-Chun crafts a tale out of many different fabrics. Lou’s stylistic mastery will engage you; the depth yet tactile immediacy of the tale will make you stay.