River Dragon Sky
By Justin Nicholes
Publication date: June 12, 2012
Print edition: 8.5″ x 5.5″ perfect bound trade paperback
Page count: 224
E-book formats: ePub, Kindle, PDF
Word count: 60,000
A novel of people far from home and far from the selves of their origins, River Dragon Sky is the story of Junping, a Taoist street seer turned arsonist, Zhuan He, the girl he is sure is the daughter he abandoned years earlier, and Kal, an American who seems to have traveled to China for girls and kung fu. Long-buried memories emerge, and fragmented lives converge and assemble themselves in new ways, as fires spring up around the rural university where Kal teaches and Zhuan He studies. While pressures of Eastern tradition complicate Kal and Zhuan He’s chances, someone with murderous intentions is stalking them. Will Junping be their savior, or their killer?
About the Author:
Justin Nicholes is the author of the novel Ash Dogs (2008). His stories and essays have appeared in Slice, Prick of the Spindle, Narrative, Dark Sky Magazine, and elsewhere. He has an MFA in fiction writing from Wichita State University and currently lives and teaches English composition in China’s Henan Province.
Justin Nicholes’s River Dragon Sky is a handsome, brooding, noir-tinged chronicle of buildings licked by flames, charred remains, and scorched lives. With a sultry existentialism reminiscent of Bowles, this novel coolly propels its denizens toward inevitable and yet surprising ends.
– Elizabeth Kadetsky, author of First There Is a Mountain: A Yoga Romance
Reading River Dragon Sky I kept remembering how you can only fold a piece of paper in half seven times. This novel is as dense a construction. Flaunting many edges and ready to untuck a secret at each fold, Nicholes tells a story that forces the reader to believe everything and trust no one.
– Jac Jemc, aithor of My Only Wife
How to make River Dragon Sky: Start with Asian influences and add 2 oz. of Western impulse. Stir in 1½ oz. of the unpredictable and garnish with poetic tendencies. Pour through Justin Nicholes, serve over ice somewhere quiet where the words can wash over you, where you can drink this down, where you can slip into the ripe echoes of this feverish novel.
– J. A. Tyler, aithor of Inconceivable Wilson and A Shiny, Unused Heart