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Nicole Mones has traveled and worked extensively in China since 1977. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.
"Enjoyable popular reading that just misses being something more," this is nevertheless a vivid evocation of China, where narrator Alice Mannegan works as an interpreter when she's not sleeping around rather desperately with Chinese menÄuntil, of course, the right one comes along. This hit the Los Angeles and San Francisco Chronicle best sellers lists. (LJ 5/1/98)
Advance praise for Lost in Translation: "Lost in Translation is an adventurous and romantic tale of a complex American woman in an exotic landscape. A remarkable first novel." --Dominick Dunne, bestselling author of Another City, Not My Own "Nicole Mones takes you on an enthralling, sensuous journey through China that leads deep into the hidden chambers of the human heart." --Beth Henley, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Crimes of the Heart "A complex portrait of a woman in search of herself . . . that reveals as much about character and cultural differences as it does about a search for priceless, long-lost fossils. Mones succeeds in integrating archeological history, spiritual philosophy and cultural dislocation into a tale of identity on many levels." --Publishers Weekly, starred review From the Hardcover edition.
An attention-grabbing opening chapter in which the protagonist, translator/interpreter Alice Mannegan, rides off on her bicycle to a sexual tryst in Beijing, hints that this debut suspense novel will be a racy read. But Alice's sensuality is just one factor in Mones's complex portrait of a woman in search of herself, played out against the exotic background of some of China's remotest regions, a story that reveals as much about character and cultural difference as it does about a search for priceless, long-lost fossils. China is Alice's spiritual home, where she feels far removed from her loving but racist father, a U.S congressman whose political opinions she deplores. But despite her desire to belong there, she is still considered an "outside woman." She signs on as interpreter for archeologist Adam Spencer, who believes that the remains of Peking Man were hidden in the Mongolian desert during WWII by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Joined by two Chinese scientists, they venture into remote regions where the urgency of the search is paralleled by Alice's increasing attraction to Dr. Lin Shiyang, whose wife vanished from a labor camp in that region 20 years ago, and by the unfolding story of the relationship of Teilhard and an American woman who loved him. The authenticity of Mones's background detailÄfrom the rituals of ancestor worship to the workings of the PLA police and the food at a Mongolian banquetÄbrings fresh insight into the nuances of Chinese culture. Though the narrative tension is more intellectual than visceral, and some pivotal events of the plot seem too convenient, Mones succeeds in integrating archeological history, spiritual philosophy and cultural dislocation into a tale of identity on many levels. Author tour. (Aug.)