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It is 1904. At the age of 42, the handsome and influential Australian George Ernest Morrison, Peking correspondent for The Times of London, is considered the most eligible Western bachelor in China. But Morrison has yet to meet his match - until one night, where the Great Wall meets the sea, he encounters Mae Perkins, the ravishing and free-spirited daughter of a California millionaire, and a turbulent affair begins. War, meanwhile, has broken out between Russia and Japan for domination over northeast China. Morrison's colleague Lionel James has an idea that will revolutionise war correspondence. But the Russians, the Japanese, and even The Times' own editor, it seems, would rather see James hung from the nearest yardarm. James believes that only Morrison can help. Just as Mae seems to be slipping away from him, James s quest propels Morrison into her magnetic orbit once more. Inspired by a true story, A Most Immoral Woman is a surprising, witty and erotic tale of sexual and other obsessions set in the 'floating world' of Westerners in China and Japan at the turn of the twentieth century.
At its heart stands an original and devastatingly honest woman, as seen from the perspective of the extraordinary man who was drawn to love her.
Linda Jaivin is a translator (from Chinese), essayist and writer on Chinese politics and culture. Her previous books on China include the non-fiction The Monkey and the Dragon and New Ghosts, Old Dreams: Chinese Rebel Voices, an anthology of translations co-edited with Geremie Barme.