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Winner, NSW Premier’s AwardSpecial Offer – Reduced From $29.95
Shanghai Dancing is the most highly regarded and popular novel by award-winning Australian author Brian Castro. In it, his fictional persona Antonio Castro faces dispossession in Australia after the death of his parents. In an attempt to recover something of the inheritance that has been denied him, he brings his parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, and their tangled relationships, back to life, by recounting their stories and by rediscovering, in the photographs and documents and secrets which they left behind, the defections and betrayals which have led to his own disinheritance.
Like the author, Antonio Castro’s family has Portuguese, Jewish, English and Chinese origins. In retracing these family lines, which reach up into what were once the wealthiest and most powerful circles in the societies of Macau and Shanghai, Shanghai Dancing also portrays the rise and fall of these historic centres of trade and cultural exchange, from cosmopolitan affluence into decadence, immorality and military occupation.
Shanghai Dancing is a fictional autobiography. Told from an Australian perspective, it is loosely based on my family’s life in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau from the 1930s to the 1960s. Drawing on memory, stories, photos, and family myths and secrets, the book is about the twists and turns of fiction and personal history. I feel this tale has been lurking in the background for quite some time, finding its way out of the labyrinth through dissimulation and story-making. Brian Castro
a gorgeous meditation on the interaction of past and present. Michael Sharkey, The Australian
one of the most intelligent and original of Australian writers is again brought to mind. Peter Pierce, The Bulletin
Castro’s eighth novel and in many ways the summa of all his work. Laurie Clancy, The Age
a marvellous mingling of fiction, memoir and travel writing…one of the best Australian books – or books from anywhere if it comes to that – I’ve read for a long time. Andrew Riemer, Sydney Morning Herald