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Cooney, Eleanor

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(?   -    ) US author who may be best known for the nonfiction Death in Slow Motion (2003), about the slow decline from Alzheimer's disease of her mother, the novelist Mary Durant (1922-2008). Her fiction comprises a series of historical novels about China, some in collaboration with Daniel Altieri. Of some sf interest is their Shangri-La: The Return to the World of Lost Horizon (1996), a Sequel by Other Hands to James Hilton's Lost Horizon (1933). It is 1966 (though the story is told from a 2007 perspective, after Tibet has been freed by China); Shambala (ie Shangri-La), whose Lost World status has been precariously preserved since the original Conway discovered it, is under threat of exposure. At the same time, a new love story re-enacts the dilemma also at the heart of the original: those who dwell in Shambala are effectively immortal (see Immortality), but if they leave the region they age calamitously. In the end, the sacred enclave is preserved. [JC]

Eleanor Cooney


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