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Book cover of Cinema Love

Cinema Love

Jiaming Tang


Cinema Love is a sweeping novel about gay men in rural China, the women who marry them, and the secret theatre where their husbands cruised for love.

For over thirty years, Old Second and Bao Mei have cobbled together a meagre existence in New York City's Chinatown. But unlike other couples, these two share an unusual past. In rural Fuzhou, before they emigrated, they frequented The Workers' Cinema: a theatre where gay men cruised for love.

While classic war films played, Old Second and his fellow countrymen (many in arranged marriages) found intimacy in the privacy of the Workers' Cinema's screening rooms. Elsewhere, in the box office, Bao Mei sold movie tickets to closeted men - guarding their secrets, guiding them on their love lives, and finding her own happiness with the projectionist.

However, Old Second's passion for his lover, Shun-Er, leaves Shun-Er's young wife Yan Hua in the cold, and her desperate decision to hold onto her husband sets in motion a series of haunting events - causing the deaths of Shun-Er and the projectionist, and propelling Yan Hua, Old Second, and Bao Mei towards an uncertain future in America.

Spanning three timelines - contemporary New York, late '80s Chinatown, and post-socialist China - Cinema Love is a voice-driven, tender epic that bridges the interior landscapes of the disenfranchised with the physical, and sometimes foreign, spaces they inhabit.

Publisher: John Murray Press
Binding: Paperback
Publication date: 09 May 2024
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 153 mm
ISBN: 9781399810258

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