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In a Land of Paper Gods


In a Land of Paper Gods by Rebecca Mackenzie

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In a Land of Paper Gods

Rebecca Mackenzie

ISBN 9781472224200

A gorgeous literary debut in the tradition of The Poisonwood Bible about a school for the children of British missionaries in China, at the top of a mountain, at the edge of the Second World War.

Jiangxi Province, China, 1941.

Atop the fabled mountain of Lushan, celebrated for its temples, capricious mists and plunging ravines, perches a boarding school for the children of British missionaries. As her parents pursue their calling to bring the gospel to China's most remote provinces, ten-year-old Henrietta S. Robertson discovers that she has been singled out for a divine calling of her own.

Etta is quick to share the news with her dorm mates, and soon even Big Bum Eileen is enlisted in the Prophetess Club, which busies itself looking for signs of the Lord's intent. (Hark.) As rumours of war grow more insistent, so the girls' quest takes on a new urgency - and in such a mystical landscape, the prophetesses find that lines between make believe and reality, good and bad, become dangerously blurred. So Etta's pilgrimage begins.

A story of a child far from home and caught between two cultures, In A Land of Paper Gods marries exuberant imagination with sharp pathos, and introduces Rebecca Mackenzie as a striking and original new voice.


The Author

Rebecca MacKenzieRebecca Mackenzie is the daughter of missionaries; she grew up in 1980s Bangkok, the Malaysian jungle and the tea hills of southern India, before returning to Scotland to complete my education. At seventeen, she moved to London to study Religion, History and Thai at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
She has been influenced by some of the writers like; Marilynne Robinson, Marguerite Duras, Virginia Woolf, Graham Greene, Arundhati Roy and Franz Kafka.
Rebecca loves to step into the unknown and discover, whether that be in writing or being on stage. She regularly perform solo improvisation, fusing language, imagination, movement and the moment.
Her movement training comes from a decade of Japanese martial arts and my performance influences include butoh artist Kazuo Ohno, choreographer Pina Bausch and Alice Oswald’s recitations.
She currently lives at the top of a vicarage in East London and teach on the Creative Writing MA, Royal Holloway.




Reviews, News & Interviews:

Infused with a delicate, melancholy note of nostalgia, Mackenzie's depiction of a bygone world is vividly realised. Independent

An evocative and involving novel with a wonderful setting. Woman & Home

If you like your novels lyrical but pacy, look out for this beautiful debut. Elle