Ma Jian Beijing Coma

ISBN 13: 9780701178079

Beijing Coma

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9780701178079: Beijing Coma
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May 1989. Tens of thousands of students are camped out in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. But what started as a united protest at the slow pace of their government's political reform has begun to lose direction: people from all over China are coming to join the demonstration, but the students at its heart are confused by the influence they suddenly wield, and riven by petty in-fighting. One of them, Dai Wei, argues with about everything from democracy to the distribution of food to protestors, little knowing that, on 4 June, a soldier will shoot a bullet into his head, sending him into a deep coma.

As Dai Wei lies immobile in his mother's Beijing flat: his body has become his prison, but his memories offer a means of escape. We watch him fall in love, drop out of school, arrive at university - and become increasingly politicised. From his coma, Dai Wei can't see or move but he can hear what's happening in the world beyond: his mother's struggle to keep him alive; the government's attempt to suppress all memory of the Tiananmen massacre; his friends' involvement in China's frenetic capitalism. As the almost minute-by-minute chronicling of the lead-up to his shooting becomes ever more intense, the reader is caught in a gripping emotional journey where the boundaries between life and death are increasingly blurred.

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Review:

'...a modern literary masterpiece...Ma Jian has created an intense, passionate and painful-to-read parable for today..' -- Sunday Express

'...this vivid, pungent, often blackly funny book is a mighty gesture of remembrance against the encroaching forces of silence'
-- Guardian

'A landmark account through fiction of a country whose rise has amazed the world, but which remains cloaked in shadows' -- The Times

'China after Tiananmen Square is memorably captured in this fine fictional portrait' -- The Sunday Times

'Ma Jian controls his different time frames masterfully...a defining novel'
-- The Tablet

'an important testimony... of the tragedies and frustrations of Chinese people's everyday lives'
-- The New Statesman

'the picture of China, over a span of some fifty years, is intricate and vivid .. a remarkable book' -- Literary Review

`...an epic yet intimate work that deserves to be recognised and to endure as the great Tiananmen novel... magnificent book' -- Financial Times

`This vivid, pungent, often blackly funny book is a mighty gesture of remembrance against the encroaching forces of silence'
-- London Review of Books

`this landmark novel by a dissident in exile has already claimed a place as a classic work of witness', -- The Independent, Justin Wintel

Book Description:

Beijing Coma is Ma Jian's masterpiece. Spiked with dark wit, poetic beauty and deep rage, it takes the life (and near-death) of one young student to create a dazzling and excoriating novel about contemporary China

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