As China’s once-glorious Ming dynasty tears itself apart, a young man and woman struggle to stay together. Set before the backdrop of one of the great upheavals in Chinese history, Southern Rain is the story of a carpenter’s son who falls for a brilliant Buddhist nun just as she is set to become a powerful man’s concubine. Their adventures lead them north to Beijing and south to the Yangtze valley, as art, theater and poetry give way to foreign invasion, banditry and chaos. In a world of turmoil, their search for freedom and safety comes to mirror China’s own. Southern Rain is both an intimate portrait of a man and a woman and a sweeping historical epic, presenting China’s tumultuous seventeenth century on a human scale.
“With the historian’s eye for significant detail, Harry Miller tells a compelling love story behind which, nearly overpowering his protagonists, is the cataclysm that was the seventeenth-century collapse of China’s last dynasty and the establishment of the Manchu Qing empire. Miller creates a rich tapestry of this long-past era, a period of great tragedy, and of hope. Readers are not likely soon to forget the heroine of this novel, nor her less capable husband; their strengths, and their vulnerability.” -Robert E. Hegel, Professor of Comparative Literature, Professor of Chinese, Washington University, St. Louis
“Harry Miller is a writer. This book proves it. Decide for yourself.” -Sonny Brewer, author, The Poet of Tolstoy Park
“Harry Miller masterfully weaves an offbeat story of love amidst chaos in 17th century China. Steeped in cultural and literary minutiae, the novel bristles with heart and wit. Miller’s writing is luminous and animated and his expansive research shines through. An intoxicating work of historical fiction.” -Alice Poon, author of The Green Phoenix