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Big Breasts and Wide Hips | [Mo Yan, Howard Goldblatt]

Big Breasts and Wide Hips

In a country where patriarchal favoritism and the primacy of sons survived multiple revolutions and an ideological earthquake, this epic novel is first and foremost about women, with the female body serving as the book’s central metaphor. The protagonist, Mother, is born in 1900 and married at seventeen into the Shangguan family. She has nine children, only one of whom is a boy—the narrator of the book. A spoiled and ineffectual child, he stands in stark contrast to his eight strong and forceful female siblings.
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature.

In his latest novel, Mo Yan—arguably China’s most important contemporary literary voice—recreates the historical sweep and earthy exuberance of his much acclaimed novel Red Sorghum. In a country where patriarchal favoritism and the primacy of sons survived multiple revolutions and an ideological earthquake, this epic novel is first and foremost about women, with the female body serving as the book’s central metaphor. The protagonist, Mother, is born in 1900 and married at seventeen into the Shangguan family. She has nine children, only one of whom is a boy—the narrator of the book. A spoiled and ineffectual child, he stands in stark contrast to his eight strong and forceful female siblings.

Mother, a survivor, is the quintessential strong woman who risks her life to save several of her children and grandchildren. The writing is picturesque, bawdy, shocking, and imaginative. The structure draws on the essentials of classical Chinese formalism and injects them with extraordinarily raw and surprising prose. Each of the seven chapters represents a different time period, from the end of the Qing dynasty up through the Japanese invasion in the 1930s, the civil war, the Cultural Revolution, and the post-Mao years. This stunning novel is Mo Yan’s searing vision of twentieth-century China.

©1996 Mo Yan. English-language translation copyright 2004, 2012 by Howard Goldblatt (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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    KAran COLUMBIA, MD, United States 09-14-13
    KAran COLUMBIA, MD, United States 09-14-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Maybe it's just me..."
    Would you try another book from Mo Yan and Howard Goldblatt and/or Freda Foh Shen and Ryan Yu ?

    I cannot get past the first 4 hours. I find the narration choppy and annoying. It sounds like a great story. Maybe I will try the book.


    Has Big Breasts and Wide Hips turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Significantly. The inflections of voice distracted me from the story.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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