Hungry Ghosts

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Washington Square Press, 1996 - Fiction - 423 pages
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At once a love story, a riveting tale of suspense, and an illumination of the artist's psyche, this searing novel introduces one of Australia's most acclaimed authors to American readers. A seductive work of vast geographical and psychological scope, "Hungry Ghosts" follows two young painters from Sydney to London to Hong Kong, probing the raw terrain between love and friendship, creativity and madness.

Emerging from Susan Johnson's hallucinatory evocation of late twentieth-century Hong Kong -- a fading colony bathed in neon, teeming with political and emotional refugees and evaporating dreams -- are the overlapping stories of two best friends and the man who comes between them. Rachel Gallagher is careful, inhibited, and achingly self-conscious. Anne-Louise Buchan is fearless, charismatic, and intent on wresting meaning from life's chaos. Polar opposites, they are bound together as artists hungering for experience. Martin James Bannister, exceptionally handsome, is a futures dealer with a talent for reinvention and a menacing hunger of his own.

Through this trio, Johnson explores the fragility of the unquiet mind and love's capacity to glean redemption from even the darkest malignancies. In "Hungry Ghosts" she presents a vision of life that is eerie, passionate, and affecting.

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Hungry ghosts

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As the British colony of Hong Kong nervously prepares for its reunification with China, three expatriates (two Australians and one New Zealander) meet with devastating consequences. To the Chinese ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Susan Johnson, an internationally acclaimed author, has written four novels and the memoir A Better Woman. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.

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