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The Courtesan Audiobook, by Alexandra Curry Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Alexandra Curry Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2015 ISBN: 9781622319619
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The year is 1881, the era of China’s humiliation at the hands of imperialist Europe. Seven-year-old Jinhua is left alone and unprotected, her life transformed after her mandarin father’s summary execution for the crime of speaking the truth. As an orphan, she endures the brutal logic of a brothel-keeper who puts her to work as a so-called money tree, and she survives the worst of human nature with the friendship and wisdom of the crippled brothel maid.

When an elegant but troubled scholar takes Jinhua as his concubine, she leaves both the trauma of brothel life and the comfort of friendship behind and encounters for the first time the tantalizing and elusive notion of “Great Love.” She travels with her emissary husband to Europe and discovers there the mesmerizing strangeness, irresistible sensualities, and exotic possibilities of fin de siècle Vienna while struggling against the constraints of tradition and her husband’s wishes.

Sai Jinhua is an altered woman when she returns to a changed and changing China, where a terrible clash of East and West is brewing and where her Western sympathies will ultimately threaten not only her own survival but the survival of those who are most dear to her.

The Courtesan is a timeless tale of friendship and sacrifice, temptation and redemption, the story of a woman’s journey to discern what is real and abiding, and a book that shines a small light on the large history of China’s relations with the West.

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About the Author

Alexandra Gambrill Curry, Canadian-born of Austrian and British parentage, has spent happy years living in Asia, Europe, Canada, and the United States. A graduate of Wellesley College, she now lives in Atlanta. The Courtesan is her first novel.

About the Narrator

Emily Woo Zeller is an artist, actor, dancer, choreographer, and voice artist who has won Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2018. She began her voice-over career by voicing animation in Asia. AudioFile magazine named her one of the Best Voices of 2013 for her work in Gulp. Other awards include the 2009 Tristen Award for Best Actress as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and the 2006 Roselyn E. Schneider Prize for Creative Achievement.