Three photographs, discarded in the dust outside Qumul train station, Xinjiang, each carefully torn to remove one man while preserving the other.
For the American scholar who picks them up they present an irresistible challenge. Who, when, and why? What is the story behind these artifacts of the modern age?
This reconstruction, a creative investigation based on careful detective work, is The Archeology of Lost Affection.
Victor H. Mair is a world-renowned sinologist and an expert on both the Dunhuang manuscripts and the Tarim mummies. Since 1979 he has been part of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is Professor of Chinese Language and Literature.