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By Philip Gambone

Escaping his ghosts, AIDS widower David Masiello accepts a one-year place at a Western scientific hospital in Beijing. Lonely yet excited, he units out to discover the city—both its bustling road existence and its clandestine homosexual culture.     David chronicles his adventures in China as he wrestles with cultural dislocation, loneliness, and sexual and religious longing. After a chain of either comedian and poignant encounters with homosexual chinese language males, he meets Bosheng, a good-looking younger artist. even though the appeal is robust, a tough courtship ensues, in which Bosheng returns to his ancestral village to marry the lady his mom and dad have selected for him. finally, and particularly by surprise, David and Bosheng reconnect and proportion an idyllic spring jointly. because the yr ends, David needs to make a decision no matter if to assert see you later or face the uncertainties of a long-distance courting.     Gambone’s novel is peopled with a number 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 pupil doing study on Peking opera; Jiantao and Guoyang, fanatics who lecture David at the fleeting caliber of yank romance; and Tyson, the Australian health care professional with a chinese language female friend, who hopes to educate David that love doesn’t desire any causes or justifications.

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I don’t know what hurts more, my brain or my butt. Trying to hear the differences in the tones is bad enough, but then she’s got us seated at these damn little kiddie tables. I don’t know, Cupcake. I’m 23 Beijing not so sure I can do this. ” “Of course you can do it. ” “Romance languages. ” I paused. ” Owen stared at me without saying anything. ” I barked. ” I gave him a sour smile. ” His eyes went to my fingers picking at the label on my bottle of beer. ” he coaxed. “I don’t know. ” he asked. ” “As in?

But what was the word for “hotel”? There had seemed no reason to learn this word with Mrs. Duan. I set down my bags and slipped the knapsack off my shoulders. Inside the pouch, I’d stuffed a little Chinese phrase book. Between my crash course with Mrs. Duan and the lists of tourist phrases in the book, I was sure I’d be able to cobble together the necessary sentence or two. You’ve done this before, I reminded myself. 43 Beijing I supposed I had. There was the summer after college, almost thirty years ago now, when I’d backpacked through Europe: a half dozen countries in ten weeks; and, a decade later, another trip abroad—in those days “abroad” still meant Europe—that time with Erik, when we concentrated, rather sophisticatedly, we thought, on only France and Italy.

But maybe we can practice more later. ” He smiled again, then went off down the aisle, proffering more hot towels. For the next hour I watched Desmond come and go. I studied the way he poured coffee and tea, the way he squatted down when he spoke to someone in a seat, the way he carried himself. Was there anything to be made of his delicate mannerisms and slightly feminine gestures? Twice more he stopped by my row, once to serve 37 Beijing drinks and once to serve dinner. (There was a choice between Chinese and Western cuisine.

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