Synopses & Reviews
Iron & Silk, Mark Salzman's bestselling account of his adventures as an English teacher and martial arts student in China, introduced a writer of enormous charm and keen insight into the cultural chasm between East and West. Now Salzman returns to China in his first novel, which follows the adventures of Hsun-ching, a naive but courageous orphan, and the formidable and mysterious Colonel Sun, who together travel from mainland China to San Francisco, risking everything to track down an elusive Buddhist scripture called The Laughing Sutra. Part Tom Sawyer, part Tom Jones, The Laughing Sutra draws us into an irresistible narrative of danger and comedy that speaks volumes about the nature of freedom and the meaning of loyalty.
"A contemporary version of [a] classic tale....Salzman is a highly appealing writer." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Lovingly drawn...very promising and often funny....Salzman is skilled at using his tale to comment on such varied matters as the Cultural Revolution, the Hong Kong drug trade, American amusement parks and...art in West Coast galleries." Time
"[A] novel whose sincerity, good spirits and imaginative high jinks make up for some weaknesses in prose and narrative momentum." Publishers Weekly
"This comic tale of a quest and culture clash is recommended for large fiction collections." Library Journal
"Although the plot will hold [readers], this is really a character study....The novel is not just for newly arrived immigrants who will identify with the experiences; it can be enjoyed by most high school students." School Library Journal
About the Author
Mark Salzman is the author of Iron & Silk, an account of his two years in China; Lost in Place, a memoir; and the novels The Laughing Sutra, The Soloist, and Lying Awake. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the filmmaker Jessica Yu, and their daughter, Ava.