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Extended Audio Sample The Incarnations: A Novel Audiobook, by Susan Barker Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Barker Narrator: Joy Osmanski, Timo Chen Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781442387034
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Beijing, 2008: the Olympics are coming, but as taxi driver Wang circles the city’s congested streets, he feels barely alive. His daily grind is suddenly interrupted when he finds a letter in the sunshade of his cab. Someone is watching him—someone who claims to be his soulmate and to have known him for over a thousand years.

Other letters follow, taking Wang back in time: to a spirit-bride in the Tang Dynasty; to young slaves during the Mongol invasion; to concubines plotting to kill the emperor; to a kidnapping in the Opium War; and to Red Guards during the Cultural revolution. And with each letter, Wang feels the watcher in the shadows growing closer.

Sweeping between China past and present, The Incarnations illuminates the cyclical nature of history, and shows how man is condemned to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A thrilling journey through a thousand years of obsession and betrayal and a vivid tapestry of the individual’s struggle against the tyranny of history, this is the most extraordinary work of imagination you’ll read all year.”

    Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

  • “Suspend your disbelief, flow along with this wonderful book, like the crazy traffic flowing around Beijing’s six ring roads…The book moves effortlessly from past to present and back again….Masterful.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Barker’s remarkable new novel is ambitious in scope, scholarly in depth, and absolutely riveting. The Incarnations works on a number of levels, pulling together so many strands of history and perspectives and drawing them into a compelling and convincing tale. Part history, part love story, with good doses of horror, comedy, and philosophy, it is ultimately a thriller and a page-turner…The effect is explosive.”

    Sunday Morning Post (UK)

  • “An utterly remarkable novel, it is certainly a very different book from Rushdie’s but just as important in its historical and cultural sweep….Barker’s storytelling is lively and addictive…She has an eye for the absurd and darkly comic.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Barker resembles David Mitchell in the ability to weave together past and present in a convincing, and ultimately intriguing, manner.”

    Sydney Morning Herald

  • “An extraordinary novel. Erudite, intriguing, and compulsively readable, The Incarnations takes the reader on an intimate and mesmerizing journey through Chinese history. Susan Barker, a born story-teller, has written one of the most remarkable novels of recent years. "

    John Boyne, author of A History of Loneliness

  • “A brilliant, mind-expanding and wildly original novel. "

    Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee

  • A BookPage Top Pick for August 2015
  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Kirkus Prize for Fiction
  • A 2015 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A Shelf Awareness Best Book of 2015
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About the Author

Susan Barker is the author of Sayonara Bar and The Orientalist and the Ghost, both longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. She grew up in East London with a Chinese-Malyasian mother and a British father, and studied creative writing at the University of Manchester. She spent several years living in Beijing while working on The Incarnations, and currently lives in the UK.

About the Narrator

Joy Osmanski, theater, television, and film actress, is an award-winning audiobook narrator who has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards. She graduated from Principia College with a degree in creative writing and received her MFA from UC San Diego.