The Yellow Papers
Transit Lounge Publishing: 2014
It’s 1872 and China – still bruised from its defeat in the two Opium Wars – sends a group of boys, including seven-year-old Chen Mu, to America to study and bring back the secrets of the West. But nine years on Chen Mu becomes a fugitive and flees to Umberumberka, a mining town in outback Australia. He eventually finds peace working for Matthew Dawson, a rich pastoralist.
When the bubonic plague ravages Sydney, Matthew Dawson’s daughter returns to her father’s property with her son, Edward. But it’s a lonely life for a small boy surrounded only by adults, and he soon befriends Chen Mu, forging a friendship that will last a lifetime.
Years later, Edward visits a mysterious and decadent Shanghai, where he falls in love with Ming Li, the beautiful young wife of a Chinese businessman, until invading Japanese armies tear the couple apart. Many years pass before the couple reunite, each scarred by the events of World War II and the Korean War. But will it be only to be torn apart once again?
‘Dominique Wilson is a wonderful storyteller. Spanning the histories of China and Australia, this tale, woven between tenderness and violence, percolates with alternating emotions until the final page is turned. The research is impeccable, the realism unforgiving.’
Brian Castro, award-winning author of Shanghai Dancing and After China.
‘Moving and thought-provoking. An outstanding novel of originality and psychological depth.’
Julienne van Loon, award-winning author of Road Story and Harmless.