The Ancestor Game

The Ancestor Game

by Miller

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While noble in ambition and geographically broad in scope, Miller's attempt to unite the spiritual destinies of three disparate characters across a variety of international settings is marred by a less than fluid narrative and confusingly similar character voices. The players include Lang Tzu, the son of a Chinese landowner, who collaborates with the Japanese when they invade the mainland; August Spiess, the family doctor who delivered him; Speiss's artist daughter Gertrude; and Steven Muir, an Australian whose narrative overview is intended to integrate the various parts and pieces of the nomadic plot. Most of the story takes place in mainland China in the 1930s and concerns the decision of several characters to emigrate to Australia following the tumultuous collapse of the feudal mandarin system. Miller's third novel (winner of last year's Miles Franklin Award for Fiction in Australia) will reward those patient readers with a bent for the more obscure spiritual fiction by such writers as Hesse, Goethe and Mann with many eloquent passages about the links between art, identity and sense of place. (Aug.)

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Graywolf Press
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