An engaging, richly textured first novel spanning time and place. In 1923, two English missionary sisters travel to western China; their experiences connect 80 years later with a woman in London. Joinson evokes intellectual and emotional differences, and cultural and physical landscapes, that divide but transform our lives. — Louise Jones
June 2012 Indie Next List
“Two worlds collide with the discovery of a mysterious inheritance. On one side of the globe in the 1920s, three young women embark on an adventure along the famous Silk Road. On the other side of the world in present day London, two young strangers bond over a beautiful illustration with a history. Decades of family tradition and mystery become unraveled as the stories come crashing together.”
— Morgan Kiedrowski, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
It is 1923. Evangeline (Eva) English and her sister Lizzie are missionaries heading for the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar. Though Lizzie is on fire with her religious calling, Eva's motives are not quite as noble, but with her green bicycle and a commission from a publisher to write A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, she is ready for adventure.In present day London, a young woman, Frieda, returns from a long trip abroad to find a man sleeping outside her front door. She gives him a blanket and a pillow, and in the morning finds the bedding neatly folded and an exquisite drawing of a bird with a long feathery tail, some delicate Arabic writing, and a boat made out of a flock of seagulls on her wall. Tayeb, in flight from his Yemeni homeland, befriends Frieda and, when she learns she has inherited the contents of an apartment belonging to a dead woman she has never heard of, they embark on an unexpected journey together.A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar explores the fault lines that appear when traditions from different parts of an increasingly globalized world crash into one other. Beautifully written, and peopled by a cast of unforgettable characters, the novel interweaves the stories of Frieda and Eva, gradually revealing the links between them and the ways in which they each challenge and negotiate the restrictions of their societies as they make their hard-won way toward home. A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar marks the debut of a wonderfully talented new writer.
About the Author
Suzanne Joinson works in the literature department of the British Council and regularly travels widely across the Middle East, North Africa, China, and Europe. In 2007, she won the New Writing Ventures Award for Creative Non-Fiction for "Laila Ahmed."
Susan Duerden, an Audie Award-winning audiobook narrator, has won multiple "AudioFile" Earphones Awards for her work. She has also played critically acclaimed, award-winning theatrical roles. Recent work includes a recurring role on ABC's "Lost" and the feature films "Lovewrecked" and "Flushed Away" for DreamWorks.
"Beautifully written in language too taut, piercing, and smartly observed to be called lyrical, this atmospheric first novel immediately engages, nicely reminding us that odd twists of fate sometimes aren't that odd." ---Library Journal Starred Review