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The House Of Wives


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About the Author

Simon Choa-Johnston was born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in Canada. He graduated from McMaster University in 1972. He did post graduate theatre studies in New York, returning to Canada to work in the theatre for over thirty years as an artistic director, director and playwright. He was awarded the Governor General's Canada 125 Medal and was nominated for the prestigious W. O. Mitchell Literary Prize. He lives in British Columbia.


"From playwright Simon Choa-Johnston comes a powerful narrative that could only be delivered by a perceptive mind enriched by a worldview formed by decades of multifarious experiences which, in turn, are articulated with nuanced literary finesse."-THE PIONEER, New Delhi

"Simon Johnston has written a rollicking great novel that kept me turning the pages so fast they almost burst into flames. With a powerful and lush sense of place, this story of love, opium, and an exotic city will leave its mark on you as it did on me. Sublime storytelling." -TERRY FALLIS, author of No Relation and Poles Apart

"The achievement of this epic novel is that it will not leave you alone-it will call to you (even in the night) to return to its colourful, daring and sometimes outrageous characters and to keep up with them until they are ready to let you go. What a feat of artistry and storytelling!" -JOSEPH KERTES, author of Winter Tulips and Gratitude

"In this richly imagined tale, Simon Choa-Johnston fleshes out the bones of his exotic ancestry and gives it the theatrical sweep of opera - engrossing." -PLUM JOHNSON, Charles Taylor Prize-winning author of They Left Us Everything

"The story of the two strong women jousting for Emanuel's love is the most compelling feature of the book."

"With gripping descriptions in beautiful language, the narrative leaves a reader wanting for more." -HINDUSTAN TIMES, New Delhi

"Although set in the 1800s, this remarkable story about a Jewish opium seller in Hong Kong and his two wives reinforces how notions of love, family, betrayal, and ambition are universally consistent." -THE PIONEER, New Delhi

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