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The Folger Spotlight

'Immortal Longings' by Chloe Gong

Folger Book Club returns on Thursday, April 4 with a discussion of Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong. To get ready for the conversation, we’ve compiled some introductory information on Gong’s first adult fantasy.

What is Immortal Longings about?

#1 New York Times bestselling YA author Chloe Gong’s adult epic fantasy debut, inspired by Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, is a fiery collision of power plays, spilled blood, and romance amidst a set of deadly games.

Every year, thousands in the kingdom of Talin will flock to its capital twin cities, San-Er, where the palace hosts a set of games. For those confident enough in their ability to jump between bodies, competitors across San-Er fight to the death to win unimaginable riches.

Princess Calla Tuoleimi lurks in hiding. Five years ago, a massacre killed her parents and left the palace of Er empty…and she was the one who did it. Before King Kasa’s forces in San can catch her, she plans to finish the job and bring down the monarchy. Her reclusive uncle always greets the victor of the games, so if she wins, she gets her opportunity at last to kill him.

Enter Anton Makusa, an exiled aristocrat. His childhood love has lain in a coma since they were both ousted from the palace, and he’s deep in debt trying to keep her alive. Thankfully, he’s one of the best jumpers in the kingdom, flitting from body to body at will. His last chance at saving her is entering the games and winning.

Calla finds both an unexpected alliance with Anton and help from King Kasa’s adopted son, August, who wants to mend Talin’s ills. But the three of them have very different goals, even as Calla and Anton’s partnership spirals into something all-consuming. Before the games close, Calla must decide what she’s playing for—her lover or her kingdom.

Critical Reception

“When the book ends on a well-earned cliffhanger, readers will be clamoring for the next volume of this planned trilogy. Spectacular worldbuilding, breathtaking action, and plenty of mischief.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gong keeps the pages flying with pulse-pounding action, tension, and intrigue, creating an adventure that will linger in readers’ minds long after the last page.” —Publishers Weekly

Why did we choose this book?

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s collection explores not only Shakespeare’s life and works, but also the plays’ historical context, source material, critical and performance histories, and the ways in which they inspire and are adapted by contemporary novelists.

Author of the hugely popular These Violent Delights, a YA retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai, Chloe Gong turns her attention to Antony and Cleopatra for her first foray into adult fiction.

About the author: Chloe Gong

From Simon & Schuster

Chloe Gong is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Secret Shanghai novels, as well as the Flesh and False Gods trilogy. Her books have been published in over twenty countries and have been featured in The New York TimesPeopleCosmopolitan, and more. She was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for 2024. Chloe graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English and international relations. Born in Shanghai and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Chloe is now located in New York City, pretending to be a real adult.

Content Transparency

Immortal Longings includes references to potentially sensitive subjects. Expand below for a list of content.

April’s Bookstore Partner

For this session, we are excited to partner again with Capitol Hill Books in Eastern Market. A used bookstore located on historic Capitol Hill in Washington DC, this local treasure features three floors of quality used books along with a selection of new titles, first editions, and rare books.

Orders can be placed through bookshop.org.

You can also download the audiobook version of this title from Libro.fm.

Purchase your copy of Immortal Longings

Capitol Hill Books

We would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support of this program

Capitol Hill Community Foundation
Junior League of Washington

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