K: The Art of Love
Hong Ying

Set in 1930s China and based on a true story this is a tragic tale of romance and sexual desire. Beautiful, intelligent and schooled in the ancient Taoist arts of love, Lin Cheng is the wife of a provincial university professor. Julian Bell, son of Vanessa Bell and the darling of the Bloomsbury set, is newly arrived in China and hungry for experience. Their mutual attraction leads to a passionate physical affair.

Unable to realise their love in a society divided by cultural conflict and the threat of war, they eventually part: Julian, betrayed by his love, to fight for the Loyalist cause in Spain and Lin to contemplate suicide in her husband’s house.

‘Like all Hong Ying’s work, K is written with a wonderfully intense simplicity – it’s tough, uncompromising, direct and tense with strong emotion, but also full of poetry and grace. The effect is to make the novel’s inward world – a world of complicated paradoxes – a highly visible and palpable one… Julian’s take on Chinese politics and his education as a lover by Lin combine to create a large canvas of interest – one in which overlapping powers enhance and illuminate each other’ Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate

Hong Ying grew up in the slums of Chongquing on the Yangtze River in China. An author and poetess, she is best known in the English-speaking world for her novel, Summer of Betrayal, and an autobiography, Daughter of the River. Her collection of short stories, A Lipstick Called Red Pepper, has been translated into ten Western languages and Japanese. K is translated from Chinese by Nicky Harman.

Read about the K libel case>

Also available from Marion Boyars Publishers by Hong Ying:

Peacock Cries

The Concubine of Shanghai

Price: £9.99 / $14.95
Format:Original Paperback
ISBN: 0-7145-3072-7