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K: A Novel

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4.90  ·  Rating details ·  10 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Professor Francis Kauffman has unwittingly landed himself in prison where he’s faced with an insurmountable task: execute a fellow inmate. Charged with igniting a political insurrection amongst his students at a university in Beijing, Kauffman is sent to the notorious Kun Chong Prison, where his existence grows stranger by the hour as he struggles with the weight of his im ...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published May 1st 2020 by Santa Fe Writer's Project
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Average rating 4.90  · 
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SqueakyChu
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stunning! This story is stunning in every sense of the word!

This debut novel tells about a German-American English teacher in China who is imprisoned due to alleged contributing to the political dissidence of two students among other charges. It incorporates other history as the teacher, Francis Kaufman, has a Jewish father who escaped Nazi Germany. How these two histories are interwoven in a credible manner in this novel is just one aspect of this story's complexity.

Mr. Kaufman is the narrato
...more
Wendy Fox
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this book from a debut author -- the setting inside of a Chinese prison is interesting as is how the writer handles the main character.
JULIE Task
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ted O'Connell K A Novel by Ted O

I had an advance reader copy of this book after meeting the author at the PNW Booksellers Assoc. in Portland. I finished it a few months ago and I'm still thinking about it. The writing is rich and dense and the scenes have stayed with me. This book is a bit of a thriller though-- I read it fast because I wanted to see what happened. I'm looking forward to reading it a second time to savor the language and the storytelling.
...more
SmallPressPicks
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This novel offers a gripping, nuanced exploration of how imprisonment tests a writer–mentally, physically, and morally. Just as compelling is how the novel conveys the writer’s need for self-expression, which never diminishes, even under the most trying circumstances. I was especially taken with scenes that show how stories–and storytelling–have the power to connect us: a welcome reminder in these troubling times.

For my full review, see: https://smallpresspicks.com/k-a-novel/.
...more
Kathryn Trueblood
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a thinking person’s novel—deeply philosophical and funny. The narrator has such an original voice, I read for his every piquant observation: "Time creeps and
the movement of the women lingers like the feel of the sea in your legs after getting off a boat." Gorgeous writing. The narrative alternates skillfully between backstory—Francis is a hapless writer teaching business English in China who gets himself accused of aiding dissidents—and the narrative present—the cell he shares with seven
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