Introduction by Emily Maguire
He would relive for a long time everything she said to him in the room at the mission. He would recall the way her voice had grown thicker and thicker, and how her head had begun to hang to one side from the exhaustion of her telling, and how he made himself face the photograph of the dead child…
Shanghai, 1927: hot, teeming, mysterious. Kenneth Ayres, a disciple of Freud, is an anonymous expatriate treating the lonely wives and daughters of British colonials. When Julia Paradise, the wife of an Australian missionary, is sent to him for psychoanalysis, he is seduced into her world, a kaleidoscope of incestuous eroticism and grotesque hallucinations. But Ayres hides an even darker secret…
Read a great review by ANZ LitLovers LitBlog.
‘Jones should be counted amongst Australia’s most interesting and talented novelists. His gift lies in his ability to write with crisp clarity about the murky and the intangible; with confidence and force about the uncertain; with detachment about passion and with passion about detachment.’
‘Utterly original…a remarkable accomplishment.’
‘Marked by lush, erotic imagery and subtle, complex handling of motifs, this slim and powerful first novel from Australia is a carefully controlled psychological study.’