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In Stores: Guy Gavriel Kay’s ‘Under Heaven’

April 27, 2010

If you’re one of the many anxious readers that have been anticipating Guy Gavriel Kay’s newest book, Under Heaven, then wait no more as you can finally run down to your local bookstore and pick it up today! And judging by the first quarter of the book that I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy, and the amount of positive word of mouth it’s received, it’s one you’re not going to want to miss. More than that, it needs to jump to the top of that “to read” pile I know you’ve got!

But whether or not you’ve picked up your copy just yet, you’ll have to take a moment and and check out GGK’s latest essay at Penguin.com where he takes us on a journey into the genesis of Under Heaven and how, for example, the Tang Dynasty of 8th century China influences its setting (and what a setting it is) :

What followed, as I began preparing myself in 2007 for what to do next, was a return to the ‘eastern book’. But something had changed. After those intervening years I somehow found myself more urgently moving towards China itself—treated with my own ‘quarter turn’ towards the fantastic, as one reviewer has described what I do.

The novel which became Under Heaven, was no longer a Silk Road book. Now, as I read and made notes and corresponded with scholars around the world, the new book was going to be inspired by and anchored in the glittering, glorious, sophisticated, violently dangerous Tang Dynasty of the 8th century. One of the absolute high points of civilization—anywhere.

Refer to the essay in full after the jump.

And enjoy the book (look for my own review soon)!

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