ORN WITH THE DEAD by Irina Kirk

ORN WITH THE DEAD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The cosmopolitan swirl of Shanghai in the 1930's and 1940's forms the backdrop here for a novel exploring the far reaches of expatriation. Richard Saunders finds the city his cyster as a youthful correspondent. With the certitude of a great homeland behind him, he tastes the city's sinful delights and disregards its extreme poverty until time catches up with him in the form of Pearl Harbor. Then he becomes as stricken as the White Russian community, internalized, waiting for the dream of homecoming to come true, which he learns to know through General Federov, now watchman of Zikawei Cemetery, his widowed daughter Tamara and her son Alexander. A chance meeting in his posh days turns to salvation when later, hunted by the Japanese, he finds hostage in their home. There he watches the General die with Moscow on his lips, sees Alexander move from his family's preoccupation with the Czarist past to the Bolshevik present, helplessly loses the fragile but passionate Tamara to her fantasies. With personal disaster behind him, he gives himself up to the terrors of Bridge House, and is rescued shortly before death in the September following V-J Day. The long-awaited home leave cannot exorcize the influence of Shanghai and its ghosts, and he returns to Hong Kong, as spiritually displaced as the White Russians he once knew...Satisfying feminine fiction with a note of conviction to deepen its romantic tone.

Pub Date: May 8th, 1963
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin