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It is 1923 and Evangeline English, keen lady cyclist, arrives with her sister Lizzie at the ancient Silk Route city of Kashgar to help establish a Christian mission. Lizzie is in thrall to their forceful and unyielding leader Millicent, but Eva's motivations for leaving her bourgeois life back at home are less clear-cut. As they attempt to navigate their new home and are met with resistance and calamity, Eva commences work on her book, A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar... In present-day London another story is beginning. Frieda, a young woman adrift in her own life, opens her front door one night to find a man sleeping on the landing. In the morning he is gone, leaving on the wall an exquisite drawing of a long-tailed bird and a line of Arabic script. Tayeb, who has fled to England from Yemen, has arrived on Frieda's doorstep just as she learns that she is the next-of-kin to a dead woman she has never heard of: a woman whose abandoned flat contains many surprises - among them an ill-tempered owl. The two wanderers begin an unlikely friendship as their worlds collide, and they embark on a journey that is as great, and as unexpected, as Eva's. A stunning debut peopled by unforgettable characters, A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar is an extraordinary story of inheritance and the search for belonging in a fractured and globalised world.
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An extraordinary story of inheritance, belonging and the stories that bind us to our past, set in modern-day London and 1920s Kashgar

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'. She is studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, and lives by the sea on the South Coast of England. www.suzannejoinson.com @suzyjoinson

Reviews

A haunting, original and beautifully written tale that conveys a sense of profound alienation, and of other realities * Paul Torday, bestselling author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen * A heartfelt story about adventurous women and a fascinating history of life in a remote corner of the Silk Road in the early twentieth century; utterly beguiling * Rebecca Stott, author of The Coral Thief * 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. Highly recommended * Library Journal * An astonishing epic - colonial-era travel combined with a modern meditation on where we belong and how we connect in the world - I could not put it down * Helen Simonson * Eccentric and full of twists and surprises and in the end very touching. Above all bold and different and extremely readable * Katharine McMahon, author of The Rose of Sebastopol * Richly imaginative and daring in the way it weaves together time-scapes and landscapes * Gillian Beer * A wonderfully evocative, fresh and impressive debut. I admired its scope and its unexpectedness * Jill Dawson * Suzanne Joinson's first novel is a finely-worked and captivating read. She combines her own wealth of travel experiences with vivid characters from past and present, resulting in a delicate yet richly-layered story. Delicious * Stella Duffy *

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