Novelist - Philosopher
Christopher New

Author of a number of highly praised novels set in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Christopher New was born in England and educated at Oxford and Princeton Universities. Formerly Head of the Philosophy Department at Hong Kong University, he is also the author of The Philosophy of Literature and numerous philosophical articles.

Christopher New's China Coast Trilogy (the New York Times Bestseller, Shanghai, The Chinese Box, A Change of Flag) has been described as "the definitive account of the British presence here in furthest Asia and a literary feat of the highest quality", while The Kaminsky Cure, has been called "a brilliant book, a pure joy to read". His books have been widely translated into Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese.
"Among the best non-Asian writers currently writing in English about Asia" (Far Eastern Economic Review), Christopher New is equally at home in both Asia and Europe. His eastern novels range over Hong Kong, China, India and Egypt during the rise and fall of the British presence in the Middle and Far East, while The Kaminsky Cure is set in Austria during the Third Reich.
He is currently working on another novel set in Asia during the nineteenth century, and two set in contemporary England, as well as satirical works on euthanasia and religion, and the story of a young girl whose damaged life is dominated by her inner voices.
News
Speaking at the Bookworm International Literary Conference in Beijing on March 9-10
BookMarks Book Club - Radio 3 interview on 25.01.2013 Listen here
Foreign Correspondents Club video talk and discussion on 6.05.2013 Audio only
South China Morning Post 16.06.2013 TasteMaker Interview with Kate Whitehead

Gage Street Courtesan

Gage Street Courtesan
Gage Street Courtesan: Franziska Goldmann, an opera singer fallen on hard times, has become a courtesan in 19th century Hong Kong. After a chance encounter with Queen Victoria's second son, the musical Prince Alfred, Franziska hopes she may be able to return to her career as a singer. But it is the other characters in her life, including her German anarchist lover Wilhelm Fischer and the devious procurer Jacob Meyer from Bombay, who may ultimately determine her destiny.

The bestselling story of a lone woman's struggle to escape her fate, Gage Street Courtesan is also a uniquely vivid portrait of Hong Kong's demi-monde in the nineteenth century and an ironically revealing depiction of colonial society at the height of the British Empire, from the lowly waterside brothels and the superior houses of the European courtesans to the stately mansions of the rich.

"In October 1869...Queen Victoria's second son, pays a brief visit to the British colony of Hong Kong. Christopher New, master storyteller, taking this distant minor event as his point of departure, unfurls a wondrous novel, which, stippled with local colour and the mores of colonial rule, is as earthy as it is poignantly romantic." Moris Farhi, prizewinning author of Children of the Rainbow and Journey through the Wilderness

"From the narrow city alleys, lined with opium dens and brothels, to the stage of the royal theatre...from the Chinese servant class to the higher echelons of the royal family...New presents a stark portrait of the realities of life in nineteenth-century Hong Kong...Rich in historical and observed detail...the colony is as vivid a presence in the book as Franziska herself." Asian Review of Books.

China Coast Trilogy
"The Trilogy deserves comparison with the Raj Quartet of Paul Scott... a genuine masterpiece."
South China Morning Post.

Shanghai

Shanghai: "The head dropped off and a dark spurt of blood shot out from the trunk as it collapsed onto the earth..." Almost the first thing callow young Englishman John Denton sees when he steps ashore in Shanghai in 1903 is the public beheading of some pirates. Shocked and sickened though he is, he must adapt himself to the brutal but fascinating city of extremes, and he spends the rest of his life there, through all the vicissitudes of revolution, riot, lawlessness and war. He makes, loses, and regains a fortune, dangerously crosses a powerful triad leader, enters politics, is imprisoned by the Japanese and survives to see the communists march in to mete out their own brand of cruel justice. An intricate weaving of fact with fiction, Shanghai is the story of a man at the centre of one of history's most dangerous and crucial epochs. It is also the love story of Denton and his exquisite mistress, Su-mei, who eventually becomes his wife.

On the New York Times Bestseller list for eight weeks.

"An extravaganza of colorful characters, pleasing continuity and 'other world' mystery." The Washington Post Book World Review

"Shanghai is a book of epic proportions, full of plots and subplots woven around historical events. . ." San Francisco Book Review

"Packed with history, drama and authentic detail." Sunday Telegraph


The Chinese Box
The Chinese Box: Hong Kong during the Cultural Revolution in China. The colony reels under bombs, assassinations and violent demonstrations. Anglo-Russian Dimitri Johnston, a disillusioned academic, fears he may be forced to leave his birthplace, but that would only please his unhappy wife Helen, who gave up her career as a concert pianist to marry him. When Dimitri falls in love with Mila, a Chinese ballet dancer from Shanghai, the future of his marriage begins to seem as uncertain as the future of Hong Kong. Their affair continues as passionately as the increasing violence on the streets. But when they see a demonstrator being savagely beaten by the police, and subsequently learn he has died in custody, they face agonising choices that will irretrievably change other's lives as well as theirs.

"...a voice that is sophisticated, phlegmatic, sceptical, astute and very frequently sardonic." South China Morning Post


A Change of Flag
A Change of Flag: In the 1980s China and Britain are negotiating about Hong Kong's future, and many Hong Kong people are pondering their own: should they leave, or risk it and stay? Among them are wealthy Michael Denton and his close friend Dimitri Johnston. Then Michael's sister, once a convinced communist, but now an embittered victim of the Cultural Revolution, secretly contacts him to help her escape from China. To do so could be ruinous for Michael, but he feels he has no choice. Soon the fates of rich and poor, criminal and victim, become inextricably intertwined as the past comes back in unsuspected ways to haunt them all.

"...the definitive Hong Kong novel." Far Eastern Economic Review

Other books by Christopher New

Philosophy of Literature:
An Introduction
Philosophy of Literature - An Introduction: discusses the philosophy of literature from an analytic perspective which is accessible both to students of philosophy and to students of literature.

"...a cogent, careful, comprehensive, balanced and authoritative introduction to the philosophical discussion of literature." Philosophy in Review

"A comprehensive introduction to the philosophy of literature, which summarizes arguments concisely and clearly." Dabney Townsend, Armstrong Atlantic State University


Goodbye Chairman Mao
Goodbye Chairman Mao: In 1971, John Coombs, an embittered recluse with a cancer-stricken daughter, lives on an island off the coast of Hong Kong, where he is writing a doomsday book on the future of civilisation. But he is also a top cryptoanalyst, and when the British Government asks him to decipher a code which relates to an apparent Soviet plot to assassinate Mao Tse Tung, he reluctantly agrees. Sent to Moscow under cover of a mathematics congress, he obtains vital information from a dissident. However, as he becomes more involved, he himself becomes a target of the plotters, while back in Hong Kong his daughter's fragile health is beginning to fail.

"An espionage tale in which the victims... really bleed... An anti-hero... whose destruction is truly wrenching." Kirkus Reviews.


The Road to Maridur
The Road to Maridur: In the late 1970s, Jonathan Kelley visits the princely Indian family where his grandmother was governess during the last days of the Raj. He soon detects undercurrents and strains beneath his hosts' courtly generosity. Since their elder daughter married outside her caste and community, the family has been in sad decline, and to restore its standing, Sakuntala, the romantic younger daughter, appears destined to be sacrificed in a loveless arranged marriage to the feeble-minded son of distant wealthy relatives. The tensions between East and West, tradition and modernity, grow steadily more taut as an unspoken relationship develops between Sakuntala and Jonathan.

"Christopher New is among the best non-Asian writers currently writing in English about Asia. His reprinted and future works are worth looking out for." Far Eastern Economic Review

"The strength of this book is the beautifully crafted passages describing the settings and the people he characterises. And his insight that all of us are trapped by our personal, psychological and physical boundaries is expertly and subtly exposed." South China Morning Post


A Small Place in the Desert
A Small Place in the Desert: Summer is ending when Peter Saunders and his wife Clare arrive in Cairo to begin their guided tour of Egypt, where fifty years earlier Peter had served as a young British officer during the Muslim Brotherhood's campaign to drive the British out. For Clare, this is a chance to help Peter exorcise the ghosts of his past, and for her to learn something of the early love that has so scarred his life. An undercurrent is the relation of their earnest Egyptian guide both to his radical Islamist brother and to Peter's past, while their tour is punctuated by encounters with a naive young American couple whose innocent insensitivity leaves a trail of resentment behind them. Tensions mount as the young American woman lies insouciantly topless on a beach, while Peter confronts his darkest memories and Clare discovers what it was her husband has kept hidden for so long. But it is 9/11 when their tour ends, and both their guide and the naive young Americans have shocking discoveries of their own to make.

"A Small Place in the Desert is a clearly and beautifully written novel about the two tail ends of adulthood, a portrait of the artist as a young and old man." HK Magazine

"While the cyclical nature of history and life are the underlying themes of Christopher New's provocative novel, it is also the moving story of the Saunders' humdrum marriage as they 'spin out the evenings of the evenings of their lives'." South China Morning Post

"The novel's most painful flashback is the sinking morale felt by Grunts as fellow-soldiers get pegged off by snipers, one by one..." Asian Wall Street Journal


The Kaminsky Cure
The Kaminsky Cure: Lutheran Pastor Willibald Brinkmann has a sneaking admiration for Hitler, something his Jewish wife Gabi is unable to share. But when in 1933 the Brownshirts, affronted by Willibald's 'Jewish taint', tell him to find another twig to perch on, the family is forced to leave their prosperous German parish and find refuge in a small Austrian alpine village, where their last child - the narrator - is born. Then the Nazis arrive in Austria, and, since Willibald is weak and ambivalent, it falls mainly to Gabi to try to protect her family against the ever-tightening vice of persecution and the remorseless approach of the Final Solution. In one terrifying, yet often darkly humorous, episode after another, Gabi fights to keep her children alive in a world determined to destroy them. Then, at last, comes the dreaded knock on the door.

"A child's-eye view makes delusion and hypocrisy shockingly stark." Guardian

Contact Information and Links
Agent: Dr. Petra Eggers

Agentur Petra Eggers
Friedrichstraße 133
D - 10117 Berlin

T: +49 - (0)30 275 950 70
F: +49 - (0)30 275 950 710

Email for Dr. Petra Eggers: petra.eggers@agentur-eggers.de
Email for Mr. New: christopher.new@gmail.com
More information can be found at: Author Page at Amazon.com

Copyright © 2011 Christopher New  All rights reserved.