The Dissident

The Dissident

  • Hardback
By (author) Nell Freudenberger

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A famous Chinese performance artist and political activist accepts an artist's residency in Los Angeles, where he is to stay with a wealthy Beverly Hills family. From the moment he arrives, however, it becomes clear that all is not what it seems - on either side. The dissident seems strangely reluctant to talk about his past, and is happier teaching than working on projects of his own; his hosts appear - on the surface at least - to be a happy, nuclear family, yet their relationships are, in fact, fraught with rivalries and tensions. Set in Los Angeles and Beijing, "The Dissident" tells the story of a life in flux and a family near breaking point - and what happens when the two collide. 'Nell Freudenberger is awesomely skilled at making characters, setting scenes, and launching an old-fashioned plot suited to the 21st century. These tremendous novelistic powers would justify some showing off, but Freudenberger never flaunts her gifts. She merely puts them to use. Such mature, self-effacing accomplishment is remarkable anywhere - but in a first novel? Try suspending that disbelief' - Benjamin Kunkel, author of "Indecision".

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  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 38mm | 552g
  • 02 Mar 2007
  • Pan MacMillan
  • PICADOR
  • London
  • 0330493434
  • 9780330493437
  • 1,355,912

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Author Information

Nell Freudenberger has traveled extensively in Asia, where she volunteered with several humanitarian organizations and taught English in Bangkok and New Delhi. Shortlisted for the Orange New Writing Prize 2005 for her short story collection, Lucky Girls, she lives in New York City.

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Review quote

"An impressive novel.lucid, unpretentious, and often witty.Freudenberger is the real thing." -- Boston Globe

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