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Fiction General

House On Fire

by (author) Charles Foran

HarperCollins Canada
Initial publish date
May 2012
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2012
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Dominic Wilson, president of WilCor Communications, Hong Kong, is in the process of not being arrested for unspecified crimes he didn’t commit. Detained in the remote city of Bon in the last frontier of a remote Asian country known as Gyatso, Dominic remembers a quote from a tourist guide: The imagination of Gyatso is infinite. Placed under a seemingly benign form of house arrest, told that his flight has been cancelled, Dominic wonders about imagination and reality, trust and deception, pleasure and guilt—and his true reasons for being there.

House on Fire is Charles Foran’s startling new novel, a multi-layered blend of political and personal thriller that is a brilliant departure for this gifted and highly acclaimed writer. A skilled literary reflection of Tibet’s struggle against its Chinese oppressors, it is the story of Dominic Wilson, a transplanted Canadian and former journalist, now living in Hong Kong with his wife and two young children. He tells authorities he has traveled to Gyatso on a holiday, but is actually there to interview the author of a short story—a story that haunts his entire existence. Now he has found himself in the middle of a political no-man’s land. Is Sun Nanping, the man who introduces himself as the head of the Bon tourism office, actually Dominic’s chief jailer? Is Paddy Chan, with his Asian features, bleached hair and Irish accent, really a friend? What about Kuno, a 12-year-old boy who leads Dominic to his dissident author one minute, but spouts ruling doctrine in the next? There are no easy answers in the clash between East and West, between oppressor and oppressed, and in the dichotomy of a city that teems with vicious wild dogs on its streets and satellite dishes on its roofs.

With the pacing of a classic thriller, and shot through with the mysteries of place and passion, House on Fire is an edgy, complex and compelling novel.

About the author

CHARLES FORAN is an award-winning journalist and author of ten books, including four previous novels. His biography Mordecai: The Life and Times won the Charles Taylor Prize, the Governor General’s Award, the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Literary Nonfiction and the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award. He holds degrees from the University of Toronto and University College, Dublin. He lives in Toronto.


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Other titles by Charles Foran