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Pure Inventions

by James King

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historical, literary, crime
list price: $22.95
also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: 2006
publisher: Cormorant Books

Set in nineteenth-century Tokyo and twentieth-century Boston, Pure Inventions tells of the incredible adventures of Hiroshi — prankster, forger, authenticator, and artist. The son of a Japanese courtesan and an American naval officer, Hiroshi never feels at home in his native Japan. Torn by his mixed heritage, he is constantly compelled to reinvent himself, sometimes with disastrous consequences. In its vividly detailed recreation of the adventures of its enterprising, tortured hero, Pure Inventions is a story of various kinds of estrangement: from parents; from one’s native land; even from one’s best self-interests.

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Editorial Reviews

“The novel is indeed one of pure invention, but with an underlying, rigorously researched, cultural authenticity. It is a story born of colourful imagination and creative originality that is a pleasure to read.”

— Quill and Quire

“An elegant puzzle about the son of a courtesan and an American naval officer, who escapes Japan to live in America … Along with recurring woodblock prints, it’s part of a luxuriously layered novel that straddles two cultures and two centuries … The tale is impossily complex and rendered in simple, masterful strokes.”

— Hamilton Magazine
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Out of print

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About the Author

James King

James King is the author of six novels and ten biographies, including books on David Milne, William Blake, Margaret Laurence, Jack McClelland, Farley Mowat, and Lawren Harris. His biography of Herbert Read, The Last Modern, was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, James lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

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