Silk Road: a novel of eighth-century China
Henry Holt & Co. 1989; Heinemann (U.K.) 1989; Book of the Month Club 1989; Fawcett (U.S. paperback) 1990; Mandarin (U.K. paperback) 1991; Centrum (Denmark) 1990; Rizzoli (Italy) 1990; Heyne (Germany) 1991; Divisione Euroclub Italia (Italy) 1991; Authors Guild/iUniverse 2009
"Larsen has used a dazzling diversity of prose styles to adroitly demonstrate how history is transmted through the centuries into something not quite true, yet not entirely false. In the process, she treats readers to an illuminating and absorbing story."
"This first novel accomodates much merriment, and moments of sadness and joy, as this feminist tale of mother- and sister-bonding draws together....Silk Road, in its prodigal layering of narratives, projects the theme of the artist as inventor of history."
Edna Stumpf, The New York Times
"There's a little bit of everything in Silk Road. It's part fantasy, part historical novel, and part speculative fiction. It's a novel about growing up and a story about storytelling. There are elements of allegory, of your basic good versus evil. There's sex and suspense and religion, not to mention poetry and travel guides, a running loade of period detail and a sprinkling of wry humor on practically every one of the over 400 pages. All of that, and in a genuinely literary package."
Jeff DeBell, The Roanoke Times and World-News
"Silk Road is an entrancing, many-layered tale painted with the delicacy of a Chinese landscape....In evoking the life of eighth-century China, its poetry and legends, its resonance and richness, Silk Road is a complete joy to read."
Sarah Gold, Newsday
"Larsen uses the devices of fantasy to show the reader how to build a world out of bits and pieces....Rereading Silk Road two decades after its first appearance...what stands out in the novel is its vividly imagined setting and its emotional truth: we care about Greenpearl and her friends, and we find their world all the more convincing for its conditionality and fantastic exuberance....every narrative disruption and authorial wink is necessary to the enterprise of finding a new way into myth without claiming ownership of the myth."
Brian Attebery, Stories about Stories: Fantasy and the Remaking of Myth