RAS Book Club

RAS Library

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans

Discussion Leader: Dagmar Borchard

Born in early-twentieth-century Shanghai, Christopher Banks was orphaned and sent back to Great Britain at the age of nine after the separate disappearances of his parents. Now, more than twenty years later, he is a famous detective and a celebrated figure in London society; yet the investigative expertise that has garnered him fame has done little to illuminate the circumstances of his parents’ alleged kidnappings. Banks travels back to Shanghai, to the seething, labyrinthine city of his memory in hopes of solving the mystery of his own, painful past, only to find that war is ravaging Shanghai beyond recognition-and that his own recollections are proving as difficult to trust as the people around him. 

Masterful, suspenseful and psychologically acute, When We Were Orphans offers a profound meditation on the shifting quality of memory, and the possibility of avenging one’s past.

Kazuo Ishiguro is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 and author of the Booker Prize-winning novel „The Remains of the Day“. Born in Nagasaki, his family moved to England when he was five. Ishiguro is considered one of the most celebrated contemporary fiction authors in the English-speaking world.
Discussion leader: Dagmar Borchard
Dagmar Borchard is resident in China since 2011, M.A. in sinology, lawyer, journalist, writes a column for a German magazine about things Chinese.
Please note that this is a book discussion; the author will not be present

RSVP: bookevents@royalasiaticsociety.org.cn