Some call it China's Wild West - a boom town on the border with Burma. In the new Chinese economy of the late 1980's, the frontier at Wanting is a magnet for outcasts and opportunists. Or the desperate - like Na Ga. To Na Ga, the town of Wanting represents not the beginning of a new life, but the end of the road. Will, her American lover, has thrown her out - as she always expected he would - leaving her with painful memories, a dollar bank account and a one-way ticket back to Burma. Burma, however, holds no appeal for Na Ga. She may have been born in its hills, but she has left them far, far behind. Yet, caught in a cycle of yearning and betrayal, she finds herself inevitably on a home-bound path. Taking the reader on a journey from the remote tribal villages of northern Burma, to ex-pat life in Rangoon under a grim military regime, and then, in shocking scenes, to the brothels of Thailand and the hedonism of Bangkok, "The Road to Wanting" traces the life of a young woman whose fate is always in the hands of others, be they well-meaning Americans or provincial pimps.
A distinguished Burmese novelist joins the Chatto list with the story of a startlingly original homecoming.
Wendy Law-Yone was born in Mandalay, Burma, and grew up in Rangoon, where her father founded the leading English-language daily, The Nation. Wendy was exiled to the United States where she published two novels, The Coffin Tree and Irrawaddy Tango, before her move to the UK following a David T.K. Wong creative writing fellowship at the University of East Anglia. She lives in London and Rye.