makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just finished reading a brilliant novel by a guy I went to university with, Sam Meekings. Always a bit of a worry to read something by a friend in case you don't enjoy it, but Under Fishbone Clouds is a wonderful read. I learnt so much about China and the Cultural Revolution, and the prose is sumptuous. I'm recommending it to anyone who'll listen! Expect even greater things from him in the future...

Under Fishbone Clouds Sam Meekings

'Under Fishbone Clouds' is a love story, a family saga and a compendium of Chinese history, folklore, myth and culture. The Kitchen God, a Chinese deity, has been challenged by the Jade Emperor to fathom the workings of the human heart. In the course of his quest, he follows the life of Jinyi and his wife Yuying, from their youth until their old age. This tale is interwoven with Chinese traditional folktales and stories from ancient Chinese history, while the omnipresent backdrop to Yuying and Jinyi's lives is the sequence of dramatic events of recent Chinese political history, which determines the course of their lives.

'One of the great delights in life is the discovery of a new novelist of obvious talent. Sam Meeking's debut novel, 'Under Fishbone Clouds' is one such discovery utterly beautiful and memorable. Set in China the reader is invited to follow the life journey of Jinyi and his wife Yuying, from their youth until old age, always aware of the dramatic events of recent Chinese political history, and with the voice of ancient Chinese mythology firmly at one s shoulder. This is very fine storytelling that handles, with great care, life often at its most raw. Meeking presents us with the gift of a brilliant debut novel.' --Alexander McCall Smith

'Nuanced, alert and intelligent' --Scotland on Sunday

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