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Authors: John Shors

Tags: #Fiction, #Historical

Dragon House

Table of Contents
 
 
Praise for the Novels of John Shors
Dragon House
 
“A touching story about, among other things, the lingering impacts of the last generation’s war on the contemporary landscape and people of Vietnam. In a large cast of appealing characters, the street children are the heart of this book; their talents, friendships, and perils keep you turning the pages.”
—Karen Joy Fowler, bestselling author of
The Jane Austen Book Club
 
“In
Dragon House
, John Shors paints such a vivid picture of the lives of Vietnamese street children and the tourists they need in order to survive, you would swear it was written by one of them. I loved this book, and cared deeply about the characters brought to life by Shors’s clear sensitivity to the plight of the unseen and unwanted in Vietnam.”
—Elizabeth Flock, bestselling author of
Me & Emma
 
“Amid the wreckage of what’s known in Vietnam as the “American War,” Shors has set his sprawling, vibrant novel. All of his characters—hustlers, humanitarians, street children—carry wounds, visible or otherwise. And in the cacophony of their voices, he asks that most essential question: How can we be better?”—David Oliver Relin, bestselling author of
Three Cups of Tea
 
“There is a tenderness in this moving, deeply descriptive novel that brings all those frequently hidden qualities of compassion, purity of mind, and, yes, love—the things we used to call the human spirit—into the foreground of our feelings as readers. This is a beautiful heart speaking to us of the beautiful world we could and should find, even in the darkness that so often floods the world with fear.”

Gregory David Roberts, bestselling author of
Shantaram
 
“John Shors has written a wonderful novel about two American lives shaped by an encounter with the lives of the Vietnamese people in this present age, decades after that country has faded from the ongoing clamor of news in this country. For that very reason, Shors transcends politics and headlines and finds the timeless and deeply human stories that are the essence of enduring fiction. This is strong, important work from a gifted writer.”

Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
of
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
 
Beside a Burning Sea
 
“A master storyteller. . . .
Beside a Burning Sea
confirms again that Shors is an immense talent. . . . This novel has the aura of the mythic, the magical, and that which is grounded in history. Shors weaves psychological intrigue by looking at his characters’ competing desires: love, revenge, and meaning. Both lyrical and deeply imaginative.”
—Amy Tan, bestselling author of
The Joy Luck Club
 
“Features achingly lyrical prose, even in depicting the horrors of war. . . . Shors pays satisfying attention to class and race dynamics, as well as the tension between wartime enemies. The survivors’ dignity, quiet strength, and fellowship make this a magical read.”—
Publishers Weekly
 
“An astounding work. Poetic and cinematic as it illuminates the dark corners of human behavior, it is destined to be this decade’s
The English Patient
.”

Booklist
 
“Shors has re-created a tragic place in time, when love for another was a person’s sole companion. He uses lyrical prose throughout the novel, especially in his series of haiku poems that plays an integral role in the love story, and develops accessible, sympathetic characters.”—
Rocky Mountain News
 
“This story of redemption, love, and friendship is placed against a hideously distorted, morally arid world, one where the prophets, saints, and deities of the great religions have been silenced, but where human decency, even heroism, survives in small, fertile patches.”—
The Japan Times
 
 
Beneath a Marble Sky
 
“[A] spirited debut novel. . . . With infectious enthusiasm and just enough careful attention to detail, Shors gives a real sense of the times, bringing the world of imperial Hindustan and its royal inhabitants to vivid life.”

Publishers Weekly
 
“Elegant, often lyrical, writing distinguishes this literary fiction from the genre known as historical romance. It is truly a work of art.”

The Des Moines Register
 
“Agreeably colorful . . . [with] lively period detail and a surfeit of villains.”

Kirkus Reviews
 
“An exceptional work of fiction . . . a gripping account.”—
India Post
 
“Highly recommended . . . A thrilling tale [that] will appeal to a wide audience.”—
Library Journal
 
“Evocative of the fantastical stories and sensual descriptions of
One Thousand and One Nights
. . . What sets this novel apart is its description of Muslim-Hindu politics, which continue to plague the subcontinent today.”

National Geographic Traveler
 
“A passionate, lush, and dramatic novel, rich with a sense of place. John Shors is an author of sweeping imaginative force.”
—Sandra Gulland, bestselling author of
The Josephine B. Trilogy
 
“[A] story of romance and passion . . . a wonderful book if you want to escape to a foreign land while relaxing in your porch swing.”—
St. Petersburg Times
 
“It is difficult to effectively bring the twenty-first-century reader into a seventeenth-century world. Shors accomplishes this nicely, taking the armchair traveler into some of the intricacies involved in creating a monument that remains one of the architectural and artistic wonders of the world.”

The Denver Post
 
“A majestic novel that irresistibly draws the reader within its saga of human struggles, failings, alliances, and betrayals.”—
Midwest Book Review
 
“Shors . . . creates a vivid and striking world that feels as close as a plane ride.
Most important, he manages to convey universal feelings in a tangible and intimate way. Shah Jahan’s grief isn’t just that of a man who lived centuries ago; it’s a well of emotion felt long before Mumatz Mahal ever lived, and is still felt today. Shors’s ability to tap into that well, and make it so alive, renders the novel as luminous a jewel as any that adorn the Taj Mahal’s walls.”

ForeWord Magazine
ALSO BY JOHN SHORS
Beneath a Marble Sky
Beside a Burning Sea
New American Library
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published by New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, September 2009
Copyright © John Shors, 2009
Map by Jon Craine
All rights reserved
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA:
Shors, John, 1969-
Dragon house/John Shors
p. cm.
eISBN : 978-1-101-13615-7
1. Americans—Vietnam—Fiction. 2. Street children—Fiction.
3. Self-realization—Fiction. 4. Vietnam—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3619.H668D73 2009
813’.6—dc22 2009021227
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

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For Mom and Dad
Whose child is this
Who walks the streets
Who cries alone
Who fears the night?
 
Whose child is this
Who was never a child
Who has not known the touch
Of a loving hand?
Whose child is this
Who dreams of warmth, of bread, of simple things
Who aspires only to survive?
 
This child is ours.
 
—ANONYMOUS

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