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The Drowning People

by Richard Mason

My wife of more than forty-five years shot herself yesterday afternoon. At least that is what the police assume, and I am playing the part of grieving widower with enthusiasm and success. Of course I know that she did nothing of the kind....It was I who killed her. With this startling confession of murder, James Farrell, the seventy-year-old narrator of THE DROWNING PEOPLE, takes the reader on a long journey into the past, a maelstrom of deeply buried secrets and betrayals, that reveals the ferocious, frightening power of first love. For it was decades ago that James and a young woman named Ella Harcourt fell cataclysmically in love -- and unwittingly set off a chain of events that would reverberate violently for years to come.

Fate of the Vasa

by Richard Mason Alan Maccormack

In 1628, the royal warship Vasa was launched. It was Sweden's most expensive naval vessel ever built, costing over 5% of GNP. On its maiden voyage, the ship sailed 1,400 yards in its own harbor, heeled over to the side, and then sank. One third of the 150 crew and officers were killed. An inquiry was convened to establish the cause of the disaster, with testimony taken from, among others, the ship's captain, its officers, the ship's designer, and those responsible for its construction. No one was found guilty of negligence. The question is "Why did the Vasa sink?" The answer lies in the state of knowledge about shipbuilding of the time, the continual changes requested by the king, who was fighting in the Baltic, and the resulting experimental nature of the design.

History of a Pleasure Seeker

by Richard Mason

From the acclaimed author of The Drowning People ("A literary sensation" --The New York Times Book Review) and Natural Elements ("A magnum opus" --The New Yorker), an opulent, romantic coming-of-age drama set at the height of Europe's belle époque, written in the grand tradition with a lightness of touch that is wholly modern and original. The novel opens in Amsterdam at the turn of the last century. It moves to New York at the time of the 1907 financial crisis and proceeds onboard a luxury liner headed for Cape Town. It is about a young man--Piet Barol--with an instinctive appreciation for pleasure and a gift for finding it. Piet's father is an austere administrator at Holland's oldest university. His mother, a singing teacher, has died--but not before giving him a thorough grounding in the arts of charm. Piet applies for a job as tutor to the troubled son of Europe's leading hotelier: a child who refuses to leave his family's mansion on Amsterdam's grandest canal. As the young man enters this glittering world, he learns its secrets--and soon, quietly, steadily, finds his life transformed as he in turn transforms the lives of those around him. History of a Pleasure Seeker is a brilliantly written portrait of the senses, a novel about pleasure and those who are in search of it; those who embrace it, luxuriate in it, need it; and those who deprive themselves of it as they do those they love. It is a book that will beguile and transport you--to another world, another time, another state of being.

A History of Japan: Revised Edition

by Richard Mason John Caiger

A classic of Japanese history, this book is still the preeminent work on the history of Japan. Newly revised and updated, A History of Japan is a fascinating look at the nation of Japan throughout history. Starting in ancient Japan during its early pre-history period A History of Japan covers every important aspect of history and culture through feudal Japan to the post-cold War period and collapse of the Bubble Economy in the early 1990's. Recent findings shed additional light on the origins of Japanese civilization and the birth of Japanese culture. Classic illustrations and unique pictures are dispersed throughout the book.A History of Japan, Revised Edition includes:Archaic Japan-including Yamato, the creation of a unified state, the Nana Period, and the Heian periodMedieval Japan- including rule by the military houses, the failure of Ashikaga Rule, Buddhism, and the Kamakura and Muroachi Periods periodsEaly Modern Japan-including Japanese feudalism, administration under the Tokugawa, and society and culture in early modern JapanModern Japan-including The Meiji Era and policies for modernization, from consensus to crisis (1912-1937), and solutions through forceThis contemporary classic continues to be a central book in Japanese studies.

Natural Elements: A Novel

by Richard Mason

The author of the celebrated "The Drowning People" returns with this dazzling new novel about mothers and daughters; aging and death; memory and longing; history and narrative; and about the high-stakes, full-tilt embrace of life.

The World of Suzie Wong

by Richard Mason

Penguin Books reintroduces the timeless story of the love affair between a British artist and a Chinese prostitute. Robert is t he only resident of the Nam Kok hotel not renting his room by the hour when he meets Suzie at the bar. She becomes his muse and they fall in love. But even in Hong Kong, where many white expatriates have Chinese mistresses, their romance could jeopardize the things they each hold dear. Set in the mid-1950s, The World of Suzie Wong is a beautifully written time capsule of a novel. First published more than fifty years ago, it resonated with readers worldwide, inspiring a film starring William H olden, a ballet, and even a reggae song. Now readers can experience the romance of this groundbreaking story anew. .

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