WINNER OF THE MAO DUN LITERARY PRIZE 2019
WINNER OF THE 2018 CHINA BOOK AWARD
OVER 190,000 COPIES SOLD
Drawn together by the exploits of two Italian brothers in China at the turn of the century, NORTHWARD chronicles the fortunes of several families over multiple generations, exploring the effects of war and foreign invasion on the Chinese people and how this turbulent history reverberates for their descendants a hundred years later.
In 1900, an Italian solder, Fedele di Marco, goes missing in China after taking part in the Eight-Nation Alliance invasion. His brother Paolo goes to China in search of him, but it’s a dangerous time for foreigners, with the ongoing Boxer Rebellion, an anti-imperialist, anti-Christian movement. Paolo (who changes his name to Little Polo, in homage to the great explorer Marco Polo) pretends to be in China to sail the length of the Grand Canal from Hangzhou north to Bejing. On the course of the journey along China’s main artery, passing through great cities and an extraordinary landscape, Polo witnesses the richness of Chinese culture under the last imperial dynasty…