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Publisher's Summary

The electrifying new novel by 'one of the most brilliantly inventive writers of this, or any country.' (Boyd Tonkin, Independent)

Imagine a nation banishing the outside world for two centuries, crushing all vestiges of Christianity, forbidding its subjects to leave its shores on pain of death, and harbouring a deep mistrust of European ideas. The narrow window onto this nation-fortress is a walled, artificial island attached to the mainland port and manned by a handful of traders. Locked as the land-gate may be, however, it cannot prevent the meeting of minds – or hearts.

The nation was Japan, the port was Nagasaki, and the island was Dejima, to where David Mitchell's panoramic novel transports us in the year 1799. For one young Dutch clerk, Jacob de Zoet, a strage adventure of duplicity, love, guilt, faith and murder is about to begin – and all the while, unbeknownst to the men confined on Dejima, the axis of global power is turning....

©2010 David Mitchell (P)2010 Hodder & Stoughton

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