Building 46 by Massoud Hayoun

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Sam Saadoun, a closeted Jewish-Arab from Los Angeles, travels to Beijing to attend university. He is in pursuit of a romantic gay dream, desperate to escape the conservative clutches of his childhood United States. When he arrives in Beijing, he is hurled into dilemmas, harassed by shadowy characters and forced to confront a strange new life in this foreign city.

All the while a disturbing murder mystery is unfolding in the halls of the university's most curious building. Building 46 draws its reader into the darkest, quietest spaces of China's vast capital. Set just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, this queer coming-out-and of-age story explores the interplay between so-called Eastern and Western superpowers, between humans and halls of power, and between light and dark. It is a love letter to Beijing.

It is an expression of love for its intellectuals, its imams, its waitresses, its foreigners, its wanderers, its middle-aged moms, its shadow men, its DVD bootleggers, its migrant labourers. It is a love letter to a people very different to their mono dimensional portrayals in foreign correspondence.