Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann

Rock Paper Tiger, Lisa Brackmann.  New York:  Soho Press, Inc., 2010.  e-book, 274 pps.

The first in a series, Lisa Brackmann introduces Ellie McEnroe, divorcee and Iraqi war vet who is living in Beijing.  She has a Chinese name-- Yili-- and a passel of Chinese artsy friends.  The ex-husband Trey Cooper is no prize.  He went native in a big way.  End of marriage.

Ellie also has memories.  These are the sort of memories of the war in a hot and sandy hellpit and some of the things that some of the American service people did to some of their prisoners.  Not nice things.  The sort of memories that give one a bout with P.T.S.D. which used to be called combat fatigue many years ago.  Ellie had gotten a Purple Heart.  Even that medal could not take away the pain.

Lucy Wu is a big time art dealer who keeps attempting to contact Ellie.  An artist friend of Ellie has been forced underground and has given her permission to show and/or sell some of his paintings.  These are not ordinary times.  The ordinary things do not happen.  There is a game involved, a sort of virtual world.  The characters talk to each other and Ellie is helped out when she herself has to go on the run.

sapphoq reviews says:  The virtual world in Rock Paper Tiger is not driven by materialism or capitalism.  It is instead driven by art.  Lisa Brackmann's first book was excellent and so I immediately read the other two books [also reviewed here].  I hope she keeps on writing and publishing.  Highly recommended.

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