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In these four stories, Mo Yan depicts life in an oppressive society and the plight of those who suffer, physically and spiritually, under its yoke. The collection exemplifies Mo Yan's versatility. His stories range from tragedy to wicked satire, from magical fable to harsh realism. He is concise and unpretentious, and his imagery is sharp and sensual.
Mo Yan is a leading contemporary writer of Chinese literature and a frequent winner of national literary prizes, including China's Annual Writer's Prize. His famous novel, Red Sorghum, has been made into a film by Zhang Yimou.
Howard Goldblatt is research professor of East Asian languages and literatures at the University of Notre Dame.