Set in Japanese occupied Manchuria in the 1930s, The Girl Who Played Go is harsher, more shocking than Balzac, a timeless tale of love and war reflected in the age-old game of go. In the Place of a Thousand Winds, snow falls as a sixteen-year-old Chinese girl beats all-comers at the game of go. One of her opponents is a young Japanese officer of the occupying power, rigidly militaristic, imbued with the imperial ethic, yet intrigued by this young opponent who plays like a man. Their encounters are like the game itself, restrained, subtle, surprisingly fierce. But as their two stories unfold, and the Chinese try to ignore their oppressors, the Japanese army moves inexorably through their huge land, in the vanguard of a greater war, leaving blood and destruction in its wake. Shan Sa's novel has a wonderful directness and deceptive simplicity that catches the reader by the throat, and makes the cruelty and tragedy of its outcome all the more shocking. An exquisite and unusual novel with strange twists on the Romeo and Juliet theme, The Girl Who Played Go is already a bestseller in France.