Book Synopsis A multi-stranded historical epic set in China in 1937, when Wuhan stood alone against a whirlwind of war and violence Wuhan, 1937. China is at war, invaded by the Japanese Army, who sweep through the country killing indiscriminately. As the capital city falls, Wuhan takes its place and will be pivotal in China's future. 1937. China is at war. Japanese soldiers sweep through the country, killing and displacing the millions who stand in their way. Nanjing has fallen, and Wuhan promoted in its place. While the rest of the world looks the other way, Wuhan stands alone against a whirlwind of violence that forced unprecedented cultural and political change. This will be a moment that shapes China's future. Weaving together a multitude of narratives, Wuhan is a historical fiction epic that pulls no punches: the heart-in-mouth story of a peasant family forced onto a thousand-mile refugee death-march; the story of Lao She - the influential Chinese novelist - who leaves his family in a war-zone to assist with the propaganda effort in Wuhan; the hellish battlefields of the Sino-Japanese war; the incipient global conflict seen through a host of colorful characters - from Chiang Kai-Shek, China's nationalist leader, to Peter Fleming, a British journalist based in Wuhan and a prototype for his younger brother Ian Fleming's James Bond. Review Quotes 'Fletcher impresses in this searing debut ... Fletcher makes all his characters realistic, even if they only appear briefly, and excels at portraying the horrors of war and the moral challenges it poses. Fans of J.G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun will be riveted' Publishers Weekly starred review '1937. Ravenous Japanese armies are eating China alive, and the Great Black Dragon of War is prowling amongst the broken shards of a ruined society. The panoramic sweep and ambition of this brave, accomplished novel is overwhelming, as are the many voices - fictional and otherwise - raised on page after page. Wuhan takes us to the very heart of a collective agony, an extraordinary achievement for a debut novelist' Graham Hurley 'A book so vivid and evocative it is a kind of time travel. John Fletcher takes us back to Wuhan in 1937 when the city was the epicentre of China's resistance against the brutal Japanese invaders. This true story, little known in the west, sets the stage for a panoramic cast of finely drawn characters in this captivating, impressive debut' Adam LeBor About the Author John Fletcher is a Neoplatonist and an anarcho-syndicalist. Over the course of his life he has been many things, including a construction worker, a shepherd, a white van driver, a gravedigger, a steelworker, a cleaner, a teacher, a broadcast journalist, and a writer. Wuhan is his first novel.