In the 1920s, on a hill near Beijing, a team of scientists discovered a large cache of human bones, some more than half a million years old. Collectively dubbed "Peking Man," they were one of the most important finds in the history of paleontology. And in 1941, in the chaos of World War II...they disappeared. Were they stolen by the Japanese? Swiped by a U.S. Marine? Were they ground into medical powders, drowned in the Yangtze River, buried, burned, spirited away to Taiwan by the Nationalist Army?
No one knows. But there are plenty of theories, many with political implications. The Peking Man is Missing is Claire Taschdjian's speculation, in the form of a novel, as to what might have become of the priceless fossils. And there is one more intriguing fact: Claire Taschdjian was, in fact, one of the last people in the world known to have seen Peking Man.
With newly commissioned material on the true and bizarre story of the search for Peking Man, and archival photographs.
"Taking a genuine real-life mystery and creating around it a believable, provocative and totally unpredictable fictional explanation is a neat feat. It has been done before, but not more expertly than here, or more originally"—Publishers Weekly