Today’s most revered, feared, and controversial Chinese novelist offers a tour de force in which the real, the absurd, the comical, and the tragic are blended into a fascinating narrative. The hero—or antihero—of Mo Yan’s new novel is Ximen Nao, a landowner known for his benevolence to his peasants. His story is a deliriously unique journey and absolutely riveting tale that reveals the author’s love of a homeland beset by ills inevitable, political, and traditional.
"Five Flowerings in the era of Communist China"
Spanning three generations, this novel of family and myth is told through a series of flashbacks that depict events of staggering horror set against a landscape of gemlike beauty, as the Chinese battle both Japanese invaders and each other in the turbulent 1930s. A legend in China, where it won major literary awards and inspired an Oscar-nominated film directed by Zhang Yimou, Red Sorghum is a book in which fable and history collide to produce fiction that is entirely new—and unforgettable.
"Not One Hundred Years of Solitude"
Frog opens with a playwright nicknamed Tadpole who plans to write about his aunt. In her youth, Gugu - the beautiful daughter of a famous doctor and staunch Communist - is revered for her skill as a midwife. But when her lover defects, Gugu's own loyalty to the Party is questioned. She decides to prove her allegiance by strictly enforcing the one-child policy, keeping tabs on the number of children in the village, and performing abortions on women as many as eight months pregnant.
"Amazing story of reproduction."
In this hypnotic epic novel, Mo Yan, the most critically acclaimed Chinese writer of this generation, takes us on a journey to a conjured province of contemporary China known as the Republic of Wine - a corrupt and hallucinatory world filled with superstitions, gargantuan appetites, and surrealistic events. When rumors reach the authorities that strange and excessive gourmandize is being practiced in the city of Liquorland (so named for the staggering amount of alcohol produced and consumed there), veteran special investigator Ding Gou'er is dispatched from the capital.
The farmers of Paradise County have been leading a hardscrabble life unchanged for generations. The Communist government has encouraged them to plant garlic, but selling the crop is not as simple as they believed. Warehouses fill up, taxes skyrocket, and government officials maltreat even those who have traveled for days to sell their harvest. A surplus on the garlic market ensues, and the farmers must watch in horror as their crops wither and rot in the fields. Families are destroyed by the random imprisonment of young and old for supposed crimes against the state. Meanwhile, a blind minstrel incites the masses to take the law into their own hands....
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.
"Maybe it's just me..."
Mo Yan, China’s most critically acclaimed author, has changed the face of his country’s contemporary literature with such daring and masterly novels as Red Sorghum, The Garlic Ballads, and The Republic of Wine. In this collection of eight astonishing stories - the title story of which has been adapted to film by the award-winning director of Red Sorghum, Zhang Yimou - Mo Yan shows why he is also China’s leading writer of short fiction.
The Cook, the Crook, and the Real Estate Tycoon, by prize-winning Chinese novelist Liu Zhenyun, is a novel of Beijing that paints a microcosm of contemporary China, dealing with classes at the two extremes: the super rich and the migrant workers who make them rich through deceit and corruption. The protagonist, Liu Yuejin, is a worksite cook and small-time thief whose bag is stolen. In searching for it, he stumbles upon another bag, which contains a flash disk that chronicles high-level corruption.
Gugu is beautiful, charismatic and of an unimpeachable political background. A respected midwife, she combines modern medical knowledge with a healer's touch to save the lives of village women and their babies. After a disastrous love affair with a defector leaves Gugu reeling, she throws herself zealously into enforcing China's draconian new family-planning policy by any means necessary, be it forced sterilizations or late-term abortions.