Quin's Shanghai CircusIn Edward Whittemore’s masterful and surreal alternate history, a man’s search for answers about his vanished parents propels him on an odyssey from the present into the past, from a bar in the Bronx to Tokyo and Shanghai during the Second World War
Quin, born in China and raised in the Bronx, is orphaned in the closing days of the Second World War when his parents go missing and are presumed dead in Shanghai. Years later, in a Bronx bar, Quin encounters a stranger who hints that he can uncover the secrets of his past by accompanying Big Gobi, an adult orphan too simpleminded to travel alone, on a journey to meet his guardian in Tokyo. Quin arrives in Japan determined to uncover the truth about his parents’ past, but his search soon raises more questions than answers. What are the connections between a Russian anarchist, a one-eyed baron who is head of the Japanese secret service known as the Kempeitai, and the atrocities committed during the rape of Nanking? And what does any of it have to do with Quin’s parents?
Part espionage novel and part surreal fantasy, Quin’s Shanghai Circus, the first novel by Edward Whittemore, is a remarkable and audacious literary feat. Alive with a fascinating cast of characters and equally enthralling turns of events, former CIA officer Whittemore offers readers a mesmerizing glimpse at a secret history of the twentieth century.
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
- Historical Fiction
“A profoundly nutty book full of mysteries, truths, untruths, idiot savants, necrophiliacs, magicians, dwarfs, circus masters, secret agents . . . A marvellous recasting of history in our century.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[Whittemore] has an incredible imagination. His fantasies could be a combination of such as Borges, Pynchon, Nabokov, Fuentes, and Barth.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“One of the great masters of magic realism . . . Tom Robbins? John Irving? Even God Vonnegut—forget ’em—read Whittemore.” —Jonathan Carroll, author of After Silence and The Land of Laughs
About the author
Edward Whittemore (1933–1995) graduated from Yale University in 1955 and went on to serve as a Marine officer in Japan and spend ten years as a CIA operative in the Far East, Europe, and the Middle East. In addition to writing fiction, he managed a newspaper in Greece, was employed by a shoe company in Italy, and worked in New York City’s narcotics control office during the administration of Mayor John V. Lindsay. He wrote the Jerusalem Quartet while dividing his time between New York and Jerusalem.