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Translated by Ann Goldstein
France, 1861. When an epidemic threatens to wipe out the silk trade in France, Hervi Joncour, a young silk breeder, has to travel overland to distant Japan, out of bounds to foreigners, to smuggle out healthy silkworms.
In the course of his secret negotiations with the local baron, Joncour’s attention is arrested by the man’s concubine – a girl who does not have oriental eyes. Although they are unable to exchange so much as a word, love blossoms between them, a love that is conveyed in a number of obscure messages. How their secret affair develops is told in this remarkable love story.
As haunting as a strain of passionate music, Silk is an enchantment, an exquisite narrative and stylistic tour de force.
‘Deeply moving…A delicately crafted love story and an anatomy of desire.’
‘An intensely powerful and perceptive drama of the deepest human desires…One of the most astonishing and moving novels I have ever read.’
‘A heart-breaking love story told in the form of a classic fable…A literary gem of bewitching power.’
‘Silk is the perfect pick-up book…A book of startling images and ideas.’