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"One of the most important and courageous voices in Chinese literature." --Gao Xingjian, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature
From the highly acclaimed Ma Jian comes a satirical and powerfully written novel--excerpted in The New Yorker--about the absurdities and cruelties of life in post-Tianamen China.
Two men, a writer of political propaganda and a professional blood donor, meet for dinner every week. During the course of one drunken evening, the writer recounts the stories he would write, had he the courage: a young man buys an old kiln from an art school and opens a private crematorium, delighting in his ability to harass the corpses of police officers and Party secretaries while swooning to banned Western music; a heartbroken actress performs a public suicide by stepping into the jaws of a wild tiger, watched nonchalantly by her ex-lover. He is inspired by extraordinary characters, their lives pulled and pummeled by fate and politics, as if they were balls of dough in the hands of an all-powerful noodle maker.
Ma Jian's masterpiece allows us a humorous yet profound glimpse of those struggling to survive under a system that dictates their every move.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
From the award-winning author of Red Dust comes a virtuoso piece of "red humour" -- a darkly funny novel about the absurdities and cruelties of life in modern China.
Every week, a writer of political propaganda and a professional blood donor meet for dinner. They are unlikely friends -- one of them tortured by his "art," the other fat and wealthy from the earthy business of providing spare blood for the citizens of China. Over the course of one especially gastronomic evening, the writer starts to complain about his latest Party commission: the story of an ordinary soldier who sacrifices his life to the revolutionary cause. This is not the novel he wants to write, he tells his friend. Inside his head lives an unwritten book about the people he knows or sees everyday on the streets -- people whose lives are far more representative of the world in which he lives.
Ma Jian is the author of Red Dust, which won the Thomas Cook Prize in the UK. A former dissident in China, he now lives in England.
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