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By Philip Gambone

Escaping his ghosts, AIDS widower David Masiello accepts a one-year place at a Western scientific health facility in Beijing. Lonely yet excited, he units out to discover the city—both its bustling road lifestyles and its clandestine homosexual lifestyle.     David chronicles his adventures in China as he wrestles with cultural dislocation, loneliness, and sexual and religious longing. After a sequence of either comedian and poignant encounters with homosexual chinese language males, he meets Bosheng, a good-looking younger artist. although the allure is robust, a tricky courtship ensues, in which Bosheng returns to his ancestral village to marry the woman his mom and dad have selected for him. finally, and really without warning, David and Bosheng reconnect and proportion an idyllic spring jointly. because the 12 months ends, David needs to make a decision no matter if to assert so long or face the uncertainties of a long-distance courting.     Gambone’s novel is peopled with a bunch of splendidly memorable characters: Owen, David’s forthright ally again domestic; Auntie Chen, the clinic’s workplace mother, who desires to repair David up with a female friend; Stewart, David’s Beijing roommate, a graduate scholar doing study on Peking opera; Jiantao and Guoyang, fanatics who lecture David at the fleeting caliber of yank romance; and Tyson, the Australian healthcare professional with a chinese language female friend, who hopes to coach David that love doesn’t want any factors or justifications.

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He reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out a pack of Chinese brand cigarettes, and offered me one. I told him I didn’t smoke. He lit up and took a heavy drag. ” I asked. He looked at me uncomprehendingly. “That’s a joke, too. ” He shook his head impatiently. “Yes, I know, I know. ” He shoved the cigarette between his lips, picked up my bag, and motioned for us to go on. We had to make our way through another crowd. Every few seconds the racket all around us was punctuated by a new outburst of joy as parents and children, cousins and uncles and aunts were reunited.

I asked. ” “David. David . ” She retreated into her pondering mode again. “Dexing, I think. ” The moral integrity of a horse seemed like a dubious mantle to carry through life, but I tried it on, copying Mrs. Duan’s pronunciation as best I could. “No, listen to the tones. Ma Dexing. In Chinese, grammar is easy. Pronunciation difficult. You must develop your ear. If I can learn English, crazy jumble English, you can learn Chinese. ” I told her forty-seven, cutting off, as was my mother’s custom, two years from my age.

My seat was on the left aisle, in a row of three. The other two seats were occupied by Americans, businessmen, I guessed. They looked as if they had made this flight many times before. One had already put on eye patches and was settling in for a long nap; the other was busy rummaging through his briefcase. I took a peek inside: reports, lists of figures, a calculator, a day planner, a business magazine. No condoms, no melatonin. I pulled the flight magazine from its pouch and began flipping through the pages, trying to imitate the casualness of my seatmates.

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