A Message for the Emperor: A Novel

Mark Frutkin

This is a unique novel of old China, the traditional landscapeof mountains and rivers without end, and life in an imperial city rife with plots, intrigues, culture, sensuality and wealth.
Li Wen, a landscape painter of the Song Dynasty [960-1279 AD], is on a journey to deliver a message to the Chinese Emperor. His teacher has instructed him to paint four landscapes, one for each season, during the year it will take him to travel across China to the Emperor's Court where he is to present the paintings to the Emperor as a long-life gift. A series of gripping adventures befall Li Wen on his journey, including burial in an ancient tomb and a snowstorm that nearly ends his quest.

Esplanade Books
Fiction 2012


“I loved A Message for the Emperor. The prose is sleek, restrained, flawless. There's research in there but you'd never know it. Frutkin seems to have inhaled ancient China and exhaled a parable of the artist. –Katherine Govier

“Frutkin employs scholarly details like fine brushstrokes. A Message for the Emperor reads as a kind of ancient Chinese fable and as a meditation on the power and passion of artists.” –Trevor Cole

"A Message for the Emperor is Mark Frutkin's best book since Fabrizio's Return." —The Ottawa Citizen

Mark Frutkin has published seven books of fiction, one work of nonfiction and three books of poetry. His novel Fabrizio's Return [Knopf Canada] won the 2006 Trillium Award and was shortlisted for Commonwealth Writers Prize. He lives in Ottawa.
Trade paperback
224 pp 8.5" x 5.5"
ISBN13: 9781550653366

CDN $19.95
US & International
US $19.95

ISBN13: 9781550653458

CDN $11.95