Format:
Book
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Edition:
First Edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : Overlook Hardcover, 2014.
Description:
354 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"In the turbulent final years of the Yuan Dynasty, Wang Meng is a low-level bureaucrat, employed by the government of Mongol conquerors established by the Kublai Khan. Though he wonders about his own complicity wit this regime-the Mongols, after all, are invaders-he prefers not to dwell on his official duties, choosing instead to live the life of the mind. Wang is an extraordinarily gifted artist. His paintings are at once delicate and confident; in them, one can see the wind blowing through the trees, the water rushing through rocky valleys, the infinite expanse of China's natural beauty. But this is not a time for sitting still, and as The Ten Thousand Things unfolds, we follow Wang as he travels through an empire in turmoil. In his wanderings, he encounters, among many memorable characters, other master painters of the period, including the austere eccentric Ni Zan, a fierce female warrior known as the White Tigress who will recruit him as a military strategist, and an ugly young Buddhist monk who rises from beggary to extraordinary heights. The Ten Thousand Things is rich with exquisite observations, and John Spurling endows every description-every detail-with the precision and depth that the real-life Wang Meng brought to his painting. But it is also a novel of fated meetings, grand battles, and riveting drama, and in its seamless fusion of the epic and the intimate, it achieves a truly singular beauty. A novel that deserves to be compared to the classic Chinese novels that inspired it, The Ten Thousand Things is nothing short of a literary event"-- Provided by publisher.
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LCCN:
2013029571
ISBN:
9781468308327 (hardback)
1468308327 (hardback)
9780715647318 (United Kingdom)
0715647318 (United Kingdom)
Other Number:
852221572
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"In the turbulent final years of the Yuan Dynasty, Wang Meng is a low-level bureaucrat, employed by the government of Mongol conquerors established by the Kublai Khan. Though he wonders about his own complicity wit this regime-the Mongols, after all, areinvaders-he prefers not to dwell on his official duties, choosing instead to live the life of the mind. Wang is an extraordinarily gifted artist. His paintings are at once delicate and confident; in them, one can see the wind blowing through the trees, the water rushing through rocky valleys, the infinite expanse of China's natural beauty. But this is not a time for sitting still, and as The Ten Thousand Things unfolds, we follow Wang as he travels through an empire in turmoil. In his wanderings, he encounters, among many memorable characters, other master painters of the period, including the austere eccentric Ni Zan, a fierce female warrior known as the White Tigress who will recruit him as a military strategist, and an ugly young Buddhist monk who rises from beggary to extraordinary heights. The Ten Thousand Things is rich with exquisite observations, and John Spurling endows every description-every detail-with the precision and depth that the real-life Wang Meng brought to his painting. But it is also a novel of fated meetings, grand battles, and riveting drama, and in its seamless fusion of the epic and the intimate, it achieves a truly singular beauty. A novel that deserves to be compared to the classic Chinese novels that inspired it, The Ten Thousand Things is nothing short of a literary event"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Pursuing an intellectual life to escape doubts about his service under Mongol conquerors in the turbulent final years of the Yuan Dynasty, low-level bureaucrat and artist Wang Meng interacts with master painters of the period and works as a military strategist for a fierce woman warrior. - (Baker & Taylor)

In the turbulent final years of the Yuan Dynasty, Wang Meng is a low-level bureaucrat, employed by the government of Mongol conquerors established by the Kublai Khan. Though he wonders about his own complicity wit this regime?the Mongols, after all, are invaders?he prefers not to dwell on his official duties, choosing instead to live the life of the mind.
Wang is an extraordinarily gifted artist. His paintings are at once delicate and confident; in them, one can see the wind blowing through the trees, the water rushing through rocky valleys, the infinite expanse of China’s natural beauty.
But this is not a time for sitting still, and as The Ten Thousand Things unfolds, we follow Wang as he travels through an empire in turmoil. In his wanderings, he encounters, among many memorable characters, other master painters of the period, including the austere eccentric Ni Zan, a fierce female warrior known as the White Tigress who will recruit him as a military strategist, and an ugly young Buddhist monk who rises from beggary to extraordinary heights.
The Ten Thousand Things is rich with exquisite observations, and John Spurling endows every description?every detail?with the precision and depth that the real-life Wang Meng brought to his painting. But it is also a novel of fated meetings, grand battles, and riveting drama, and in its seamless fusion of the epic and the intimate, it achieves a truly singular beauty. A novel that deserves to be compared to the classic Chinese novels that inspired it, The Ten Thousand Things is nothing short of a literary event.
- (Penguin Putnam)

In the turbulent final years of the Yuan Dynasty, Wang Meng is a low-level bureaucrat, employed by the government of Mongol conquerors established by the Kublai Khan. Though he wonders about his own complicity wit this regime—the Mongols, after all, are invaders—he prefers not to dwell on his official duties, choosing instead to live the life of the mind.
Wang is an extraordinarily gifted artist. His paintings are at once delicate and confident; in them, one can see the wind blowing through the trees, the water rushing through rocky valleys, the infinite expanse of China’s natural beauty.
But this is not a time for sitting still, and as The Ten Thousand Things unfolds, we follow Wang as he travels through an empire in turmoil. In his wanderings, he encounters, among many memorable characters, other master painters of the period, including the austere eccentric Ni Zan, a fierce female warrior known as the White Tigress who will recruit him as a military strategist, and an ugly young Buddhist monk who rises from beggary to extraordinary heights.
The Ten Thousand Things is rich with exquisite observations, and John Spurling endows every description—every detail—with the precision and depth that the real-life Wang Meng brought to his painting. But it is also a novel of fated meetings, grand battles, and riveting drama, and in its seamless fusion of the epic and the intimate, it achieves a truly singular beauty. A novel that deserves to be compared to the classic Chinese novels that inspired it,The Ten Thousand Things is nothing short of a literary event. - (Random House, Inc.)

In the turbulent final years of the Yuan Dynasty, Wang Meng is a low-level bureaucrat, employed by the government of Mongol conquerors established by the Kublai Khan. Though he wonders about his own complicity wit this regime—the Mongols, after all, are invaders—he prefers not to dwell on his official duties, choosing instead to live the life of the mind.Wang is an extraordinarily gifted artist. His paintings are at once delicate and confident; in them, one can see the wind blowing through the trees, the water rushing through rocky valleys, the infinite expanse of China’s natural beauty. But this is not a time for sitting still, and as The Ten Thousand Things unfolds, we follow Wang as he travels through an empire in turmoil. In his wanderings, he encounters, among many memorable characters, other master painters of the period, including the austere eccentric Ni Zan, a fierce female warrior known as the White Tigress who will recruit him as a military strategist, and an ugly young Buddhist monk who rises from beggary to extraordinary heights.The Ten Thousand Things is rich with exquisite observations, and John Spurling endows every description—every detail—with the precision and depth that the real-life Wang Meng brought to his painting. But it is also a novel of fated meetings, grand battles, and riveting drama, and in its seamless fusion of the epic and the intimate, it achieves a truly singular beauty. A novel that deserves to be compared to the classic Chinese novels that inspired it, The Ten Thousand Things is nothing short of a literary event. - (WW Norton)

Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction - (WW Norton)

Author Biography

John Spurling is the author of The Ragged End, After Zenda, and A Book of Liszts, among other novels. He is a prolific playwright, whose plays have been performed on stage, television and radio, including at the National Theatre. Spurling is a frequent reviewer and was previously for twelve years the art critic of The New Statesman. He lives in London and Arcadia, Greece, and is married to the biographer Hilary Spurling.
- (Penguin Putnam)

John Spurling is the author of The Ragged End, After Zenda, andA Book of Liszts, among other novels. He is a prolific playwright, whose plays have been performed on stage, television and radio, including at the National Theatre. Spurling is a frequent reviewer and was previously for twelve years the art critic ofThe New Statesman. He lives in London and Arcadia, Greece, and is married to the biographer Hilary Spurling. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Booklist Reviews

Wang Meng is an unambitious bureaucrat in fourteenth-century China. Fed up with the petty quarrels of government service, he has retreated to his country estate to paint, much to the dismay of his cantankerous wife. Looking for peace and even insignificance, Wang soon finds that his life's adventure is just beginning. As the Mongols' rule over China is challenged by several uprisings, Wang is caught up in the overtures of competing generals, the vengeful attacks of bandits, and even the love of a charismatic woman warrior. Through it all, he seeks the company of other artists, both to plumb the mysteries of great painting and to help each other navigate the perilous waters of political loyalty. This is mostly a quiet novel, but a rich one. As one general ascends to power and the Ming dynasty is born, Wang seeks to act honorably and rationally in times of prosperity and disaster, in states of loneliness and companionship, with parents, wife, and servants alike. Readers will feel lucky to watch his journey and share his thoughts. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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2014

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