Join us Mon., May 9, at 5 pm, for the Charleston release party for J.R. Thornton’s debut novel Beautiful Country (Harper, pb., 320 pp, $16).
Set in modern-day China, this coming-of-age novel follows two friends, one American and one Chinese, both touring with Beijing’s Junior National Tennis Team. A top ranked junior tennis player in the U.S., Chase joins the practices of Beijing’s team and is immersed in the brutal world of Chinese sport. Chase gains access to a culture rarely open to Westerners, and soon finds himself caught up in secrets. When his closest friend and teammate turns to him for help, Chase is faced with the dilemma of what to do when friendship, rules, and morals are in conflict.
J. R. Thornton graduated from Harvard in 2014 where he studied history, English and Chinese. An internationally ranked junior tennis player, he later competed for the Harvard men’s team and on the professional circuit. As a teenager he lived in Beijing and will return to China in the fall of 2016 as a member of the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars.