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Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Robert Rotenberg Recommends

Shanghai by David Rotenberg

Shanghai (2008)

(From Penguin Random House)

With his last breath, China’s First Emperor, Q’in She Huang, entrusts his followers with a sacred task. Scenes intricately carved into a narwhal tusk show the future of a city “at the Bend in the River,” and The Emperor’s chosen three—his favourite concubine, head Confucian, and personal bodyguard —must bring these prophecies to life by passing their traditions on for generations.

Centuries later, the descendents of the Emperor’s chosen confidantes observe as  Shanghai is invaded by opium traders and missionaries from Europe, America, and the Middle East. Of them all, two families—locked in a rivalry that will last for generations—will be central to the evolution of the city. As history marches on, locals and foreign interlopers clash and intertwine; their combined fates shaping what will become the centrepiece of the new China—Shanghai.

David Rotenberg

(From Penguin Random House)

David Rotenberg is the author of five mystery novels set in Shanghai and also has a TV series currently in development. He has directed plays on Broadway and around the world, and is the Artistic Director of the internationally famous Professional Actors Lab. The roster of actors who have studied with Rotenberg includes such talents as Scott Speedman and Rachel McAdams. David lives in Toronto.