The theme of longing in all its forms-for change, for redemption, for travel outside the bounds of daily life to realms where anything seems possible–unites this master story collection. In the extraordinary “Why China?” a man drags his family to the Xi’an province in a desperate attempt to reclaim his lost integrity, only to find himself more remote and mysterious than the place where his journey led. In settings as exotic as Kenya and Bora Bora, as glamorous as downtown Manhattan, or as familiar as suburban Illinois, Egan’s characters–models, housewives, schoolgirls–seek transformation of the body and spirit, and transcendence of the borders of desire.
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