9780312428365

Beijing Coma: A Novel

Jian, Ma

ISBN 10: 0312428367 / 0-312-42836-7
ISBN 13: 9780312428365
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

Dai Wei, a PhD student and protestor in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, was caught by a soldier's bullet and fell into a deep coma. But as the millennium draws near, he begins to emerge from unconsciousness, and to sense the massive changes in his country. At once a powerful allegory of a rising China, and a seminal story of the Tiananmen Square protests, Beijing Coma is Ma Jian's masterpiece.


Review:
Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: Like a latter-day Rip Van Winkle, a troubled young man slumbers away for ten years. While he slowly retraces the experiences that brought him into this dream state, the world around him morphs into a nearly unrecognizable place. The place is not a mountain fairyland in pre-Revolutionary America, but China at the turn of the twenty-first century. And, our story's hero is not a beleaguered farmer seeking solace among the mountains and rivers, but a promising graduate student named Dai Wei who was shot in the head during the pro-democracy protests in 1989 at Tiananmen Square. Beijing Coma is an unexpectedly visceral and daring work of fiction by critically acclaimed author Ma Jian that explores why a promising young student would risk it all in the spring of 1989. In this ingeniously constructed novel--which sets Dai Wei's internal recollections against the contemporary changes occurring beyond him--Ma Jian reveals the profound personal consequences of that historic struggle for freedom--long after the CNN cameras stopped rolling. -- Lauren Nemroff

Review

Review:
"China's Grief Unearthed", op-ed, New York Times

From the Author

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: Picador USA, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 203 x 140 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Dai Wei, a PhD student and protestor in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, was caught by a soldier s bullet and fell into a deep coma. But as the millennium draws near, he begins to emerge from unconsciousness, and to sense the massive changes in his country. At once a powerful allegory of a rising China, and a seminal story of the Tiananmen Square protests, Beijing Coma is Ma Jian s masterpiece. Ma Jian was born in Qingdao, China, in 1953. He worked as a watch--mender s apprentice, a painter of propaganda boards, and a photojournalist. At the age of thirty, he left his job and traveled for three years across China. In 1987, he completed Stick Out Your Tongue, which prompted the Chinese government to ban his future work. Ma Jian left Beijing for Hong Kong in 1987 as a dissident, but he continued to travel to China, and he supported the pro-democracy activists in Tiananmen Square in 1989. After the handover of Hong Kong, he moved to Germany and then London, where he now lives. Shortlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Longlisted for the International IMPAC Literary AwardA New York Times Book Review Notable Book A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year At once a powerful allegory of a rising China, racked by contradictions, and a seminal examination of the Tiananmen Square protests, Beijing Coma is the story of Dai Wei, who has been unconscious for almost a decade. A medical student and a pro-democracy protestor in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, he was struck by a soldier s bullet and fell into a deep coma. As soon as the hospital authorities discovered that he had been an activist, his mother was forced to take him home. She allowed pharmacists access to his body and sold his urine and his left kidney to fund special treatment from Master Yao, a member of the outlawed Falun Gong sect. But during a government crackdown, the Master was arrested, and Dai Wai s mother--who had fallen in love with him--lost her mind. As the millennium draws near, a sparrow flies through the window and lands on Dai Wei s naked chest, a sign that he will emerge from his coma. But China has also undergone a massive transformation while Dai Wei lay unconscious. As he prepares to take leave of his old metal bed, Dai Wei realizes that the rich, imaginative world afforded to him as a coma patient is a startling contrast with the death-in-life of the world outside. Ma Jian has accomplished something extremely difficult. That is, he has created a work of art that functions simultaneously as literature and call to action . . . You wish that copies of this book could be distributed along the route of the Olympic torch s progress toward the upcoming Beijing games, an event that might not be taking place had the world not succumbed to the seductions of forgetfulness--the same dangers and temptations that Ma Jian s hero, and his novel, struggle so valiantly to resist.--Fracine Prose, The New York Review of Books Beijing Coma is driven by the obsessive force of its narrator s desire to retrieve the past, and derives its formal structure from a highly particular inquiry into the nature of time . . . As Dai Wei recalls moments from his youth and writes about the often grotesque incidents (visits to traditional healers, the arrival of a pair of workmen who believe that the apartment s immobile resident is deaf, and the mercifully brief stay of a sexuality predatory boarder) that break the monotony of his comatose existence, a sort of novel within the larger novel begins to take shape. That interpolated narrative, which focuses on the buildup to the massacre in Tiananmen Square, is at once dramatic and so slowly paced that it almost seems a minute-by-minute reconstruction of what happened . . . Some of the novel s most evocative passages capture the atmosphere and the mood of the crowd in the square in the days before the crackdown . . . Part of what gives his novel its highly energized, manic edge is the fierceness of. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780312428365

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Book Description: Picador USA, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 141 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Dai Wei, a PhD student and protestor in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, was caught by a soldier s bullet and fell into a deep coma. But as the millennium draws near, he begins to emerge from unconsciousness, and to sense the massive changes in his country. At once a powerful allegory of a rising China, and a seminal story of the Tiananmen Square protests, Beijing Coma is Ma Jian s masterpiece. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780312428365

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