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River East, River West

Author(s): Aube Rey Lescure

Location(s): China, Qingdao, Shanghai

Genre(s): Fiction, Coming of Age

Era(s): 1985 / 2007

A darkly glittering debut that traces a mixed family’s troubled trajectory through developing China.

Shanghai, 2007: feeling betrayed by her American mother’s engagement to their rich landlord Lu Fang, fourteen-year-old Alva begins plotting her escape. But the exclusive American School – a potential ticket out – is not what she imagined.

Qingdao, 1985: newlywed Lu Fang works as a lowly shipping clerk. Though he aspires to a bright future, he is one of many casualties of harsh political reforms. Then China opens up to foreigners and capital, and Lu Fang meets a woman who makes him question what he should settle for.

A mesmerising reversal of the east–west immigrant narrative set against China’s economic boom, River East, River West is a deeply moving exploration of race, identity and family, of capitalism’s false promise and private dreams.

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