We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Cinema Love

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399810241

Price: £16.99

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

*A stunning and compelling novel for fans of PACHINKO, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, and SHUGGIE BAIN*

‘The pages crackle with the tension of a Hollywood thriller . . . an enticing, engaging read’ The Times

Cinema Love is not just an extraordinary debut but a future classic’ Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers

For over thirty years, Old Second and Bao Mei have cobbled together a meagre existence in New York City’s Chinatown. But unlike other couples, these two share an unusual past. In rural Fuzhou, before they emigrated, they frequented the Workers’ Cinema, where gay men cruised for love.

While classic war films played, Old Second and his fellow countrymen found intimacy in the privacy of the Workers’ Cinema’s screening rooms. Elsewhere, in the box office, Bao Mei sold tickets to closeted men – guarding their secrets and finding her own happiness with the projectionist. But when secrets are unveiled, they set in motion a series of haunting events that propel Old Second and Bao Mei towards an uncertain future in America.

Spanning three timelines – post-socialist China, 1980s Chinatown, and contemporary New York – Cinema Love is a tender epic about men and women who find themselves in forbidden and frustrated relationships as they grapple with the past and their unspoken desires.

‘I loved it. Cinema Love fizzes with energy. The characters are rich and warm and the prose is perfect. Jiaming Tang is a remarkable new voice’ Fiona Mozley, author of Booker-shortlisted Elmet

‘A tender and enrapturing feat of storytelling’ Vanessa Chan, author of The Storm We Made


Cinema Love grasps you tightly in the heart, then does not let go. A tender and enrapturing feat of storytelling, this novel unwraps the brightest and darkest moments of queer love and all its humanity. The stories of the men and women in this book swallowed me whole, and I will never forget them
Vanessa Chan, author of THE STORM WE MADE
A staggering feat of storytelling, epic in its reach yet so intimate and nuanced in its ability to break the heart of its reader. Tang honours the many stripes of his characters' journeys with forensic clarity, compassion and authenticity
Wiz Wharton, author of GHOST GIRL, BANANA
Lush, romantic, daring, and filled with indelible characters, Cinema Love is not just an extraordinary debut, but a future classic. In this story of forbidden queer love and the cost of secrets, Jiaming Tang gives voice, humanity, and dignity to people so often rendered invisible by society. Here, Chinese laborers, factory workers, seamstresses, nail technicians, and cooks take glorious center stage, their lives and deepest yearnings made epic. I absolutely loved this book and couldn't stop reading
Jessamine Chan, author of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD MOTHERS
I loved it. Cinema Love fizzes with energy. The characters are rich and warm and the prose is perfect. Jiaming Tang is a remarkable new voice
Fiona Mozley, author of ELMET
A beautifully told story about the delicate tension between love and longing, the crisis of loneliness, and the price of regret. With a wise, masterful compassion, Cinema Love announces Jiaming Tang as an essential new voice in literature. I absolutely loved this book
Emily Habeck, author of SHARK HEART
Exceptional, moving, and not to be missed
Alice Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of THE INVISIBLE HOUR
Gentle and fierce, heartbreaking without sacrificing its sense of humour, Jiaming Tang's Cinema Love perfectly mines the difficult-to-reach space between agony and pleasure. I have never read anything like it . . . Guided through these shadowy and sorrowful places by Tang's plush and vivid prose, I found myself breathless until the very end - and even then barely able to exhale. This is the unforgettable work of a patient master
Robert Jones, Jr, author of New York Times bestselling novel, THE PROPHETS, a National Book Award finalist
Gracefully crisscrossing China and New York City's Chinatown, Cinema Love lays bare that which so many of us feel: the struggle against loneliness, attempts to forge a life beyond betrayals large and small, and the fact that liberation for some means loss for others. Featuring characters full of wit, humour, and longing, Jiaming Tang's debut navigates the complexities of intimacy with the utmost care, while also affirming that in order to build a better future, we must first make peace with the past. Hear me now: this is a book that'll stay with you long after the last page
Mateo Askaripour, New York Times bestselling author of BLACK BUCK
Masterful . . . Cinema Love is a tender, deeply compassionate debut, with characters so vividly drawn they feel alive
Grace D. Li, New York Times bestselling author of PORTRAIT OF A THIEF
This resonant and textured debut traces the secret lives of gay men and their wives in 1980s China and their loneliness in contemporary New York City's Chinatown . . . Tang laces the narrative with Dickensian details of Chinatown's underground economy . . . Tang announces himself as a writer to watch with this unshakable novel
Publishers Weekly
Tang has plenty to say here - with intimacy, sadness, and aging being frequent subjects. The prose moves from omniscient to highly focused with ease . . . A haunting story of shared pasts and troubled memories
Rich in simile and metaphor, Tang's book is beautifully written too. An excellent first novel and a captivating reading experience
The pages crackle with the tension of a Hollywood thriller. There are elements here of Ian McEwan's Atonement and Tom Crewe's The New Life . . . an enticing, engaging read
John Self, The Times
Moving . . . Part ghost story, part love story, and part tale of hardscrabble immigrant life, this intricately plotted novel asks whether, in the end, it is better to forgive or to forget
New Yorker
This tender, elegant debut from Jiaming Tang follows gay men and their wives from pickups at a 1980s Mawei movie theatre to loss and longing in NYC's Chinatown
Vanity Fair
Cinema Love is a gripping narrative with sharply drawn characters. Equally important, it is beautifully written . . . Jiaming Tang's first novel is a beautiful meditation on love, loss, and the haunting power of the past
New York Journal of Books
There is much to admire in this intricately plotted novel . . . it's a story with real heart: Tang shows genuine sympathy for each of his flawed characters as he unpicks the moral complexities of their choices
Claire Adam, Guardian
Tang has . . . created a fascinating, rarely revealed world in this well-plotted debut. The book's tender swirl of stories depicting the lives of men and women caught between two lives has its touching moments
Straits Times
The past infiltrates the present like a charm, lending a dreamlike mood to thoughts and experiences
James Cahill, TLS