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Passing Under Heaven

Justin Hill

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

* A fabulous epic novel about the extraordinary (true) life of China's greatest woman poet.

* Beautifully-written and compulsively readable: a thousand-year-old story of love and loss brought vividly to life.

In the last years of the Tang Dynasty, a beautiful girl is born in a fort along the Great Wall of China, and is set to become the most famous and celebrated courtesan of her age. Set in the 9th century, Passing Under Heaven tells the tragic love story of Lily, a Chinese poet and documents a time when Chinese women enjoyed a window of unprecedented personal freedom - including the freedom to fall in love. But when Lily pushes that freedom to its limits disaster ensues, leaving her child and husband to forever mourn her loss.

Based on historical fact, Passing Under Heaven is more than the story of the end of a love affair, this book also chronicles the passing of the Chinese golden age into civil war and ruin.

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Praise for Passing Under Heaven

  • Passionately imagined - INDEPENDENT

  • Superbly evoked are the luxury and refinement that co-exist with cold cruelty and a fatalism that to us is puzzling. Minister Lee and Yu Xuanju cannot live with or without each other, and their long-running and tortured love affair is a beautifully handl - DAILY MAIL

  • A great and passionate storyteller - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

  • Rich in atmosphere, lavishly described...captivating... Hill is not afraid to humanise Lily, to show her engaged in great acts of cruelty, but he does so without losing the reader's sympathy. That her life will end tragically is never in doubt, but the exact - EVENING HERALD

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Justin Hill

Justin Hill lived and taught in China for four years. He turned his experiences there into The Drink and Dream Tea House and A Bend in the Yellow River. He has just won the Somerset Maugham Prize.

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