Sandalwood Death: A Novel (Chinese Literature Today Book Series)

4.14 avg rating
( 390 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780806143392: Sandalwood Death: A Novel (Chinese Literature Today Book Series)

This powerful novel by Mo Yan—one of contemporary China’s most famous and prolific writers—is both a stirring love story and an unsparing critique of political corruption during the final years of the Qing Dynasty, China’s last imperial epoch.

Sandalwood Death is set during the Boxer Rebellion (1898–1901)—an anti-imperialist struggle waged by North China’s farmers and craftsmen in opposition to Western influence. Against a broad historical canvas, the novel centers on the interplay between its female protagonist, Sun Meiniang, and the three paternal figures in her life. One of these men is her biological father, Sun Bing, an opera virtuoso and a leader of the Boxer Rebellion. As the bitter events surrounding the revolt unfold, we watch Sun Bing march toward his cruel fate, the gruesome “sandalwood punishment,” whose purpose, as in crucifixions, is to keep the condemned individual alive in mind-numbing pain as long as possible.

Filled with the sensual imagery and lacerating expressions for which Mo Yan is so celebrated, Sandalwood Death brilliantly exhibits a range of artistic styles, from stylized arias and poetry to the antiquated idiom of late Imperial China to contemporary prose. Its starkly beautiful language is here masterfully rendered into English by renowned translator Howard Goldblatt.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Mo Yan (literally, “don’t speak”) is the pen name of Guan Moye. Born in 1955 in Gaomi, Shandong province, he is the author of ten novels and more than seventy short stories. Mo Yan is the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature and the 2009 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature.



Howard Goldblatt is an award-winning translator of numerous works of contemporary Chinese literature, including seven novels by Mo Yan, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Review:

Mo Yan’s recreation of the Boxer Rebellion opens, as it will close, with first-person narratives by voluptuous Meiniang and the four men in her life: her father, an opera singer leading the rebellion against the German railroad workers; her husband, a dull, muscular butcher of dogs and pigs; her father-in-law, the Imperial executioner assigned to punish the rebel leader; and her rich lover, the Magistrate who betrays her father to the foreign invaders where the sandalwood death will be his punishment. The plot has all the ingredients of an opera tragedy, and the monologues that form the opening and closing chapters each begin with lyrics from a Chinese folk opera based on the same story called Sandalwood Death. Three public executions, at the novel’s beginning, middle, and end, are set pieces of ceremonial horror. Zhao Jia, the Imperial executioner, is such a cold-blooded, cunning, ruthless fellow that only the novel’s first sentence, revealing that the heroine will stab him to death in seven days, gives the reader the courage to read on as he performs hideously cruel public executions as well as shames, abuses and torments the more likeable pawns in this dark, suspenseful love story. Fortunately, the heroine’s not-so-bright husband provides comic relief, blundering along good-naturedly, blind to the obvious, falling out of bed when she screams in her sleep with desire for another man. Mo Yan is a mesmerizing storyteller and a daring one, constantly showing the other side of characters you thought you knew. He gives away plot turns before they happen. He introduces a character in flashback after showing him publically executed by the hideous slicing death of 500 cuts. Though his irrepressible trademark humor has little opportunity to shine here, the scenes are just as knockdown powerful, and his sense of theatricality knows how to prolong suspense and deliver wallops of surprise as he brings to life a collapsing empire over a hundred years ago, where long beards are sexually attractive, dogs are herded and butchered as food, and public executions are long, horrific torture sessions of satanic ingenuity. Not until sixty pages from the end of this huge novel does Mo Yan give the reader a first glimpse of the staggering finale he has painstakingly prepared – detail after detail quietly building over hundreds of pages in a mounting tsunami of information come together in a final catastrophe set piece including all the main characters and resolving all the novel’s themes in a once-in-a-lifetime ending no reader will ever, ever forget. – Nick DiMartino

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Mo Yan
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2012. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780806143392

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Mo Yan
Published by University of Oklahoma Press (2012)
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Oklahoma Press, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0806143398

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 18.82
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Mo Yan
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 5992689

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Mo Yan
Published by University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ohmsoft LLC
(Lake Forest, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Oklahoma Press. Book Condition: Brand New. Ships from USA. FREE domestic shipping. Bookseller Inventory # 0806143398

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.08
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Yan Mo
Published by University of Oklahoma Press, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Oklahoma Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This powerful novel by Mo Yan--one of contemporary China s most famous and prolific writers--is both a stirring love story and an unsparing critique of political corruption during the final years of the Qing Dynasty, China s last imperial epoch. Sandalwood Death is set during the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1901)--an anti-imperialist struggle waged by North China s farmers and craftsmen in opposition to Western influence. Against a broad historical canvas, the novel centers on the interplay between its female protagonist, Sun Meiniang, and the three paternal figures in her life. One of these men is her biological father, Sun Bing, an opera virtuoso and a leader of the Boxer Rebellion. As the bitter events surrounding the revolt unfold, we watch Sun Bing march toward his cruel fate, the gruesome -sandalwood punishment, - whose purpose, as in crucifixions, is to keep the condemned individual alive in mind-numbing pain as long as possible. Filled with the sensual imagery and lacerating expressions for which Mo Yan is so celebrated, Sandalwood Death brilliantly exhibits a range of artistic styles, from stylized arias and poetry to the antiquated idiom of late Imperial China to contemporary prose. Its starkly beautiful language is here masterfully rendered into English by renowned translator Howard Goldblatt. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780806143392

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Mo Yan
Published by University of Oklahoma Press (2012)
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Oklahoma Press, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 0806143398

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 18.38
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Yan Mo
Published by University of Oklahoma Press, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Oklahoma Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This powerful novel by Mo Yan--one of contemporary China s most famous and prolific writers--is both a stirring love story and an unsparing critique of political corruption during the final years of the Qing Dynasty, China s last imperial epoch. Sandalwood Death is set during the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1901)--an anti-imperialist struggle waged by North China s farmers and craftsmen in opposition to Western influence. Against a broad historical canvas, the novel centers on the interplay between its female protagonist, Sun Meiniang, and the three paternal figures in her life. One of these men is her biological father, Sun Bing, an opera virtuoso and a leader of the Boxer Rebellion. As the bitter events surrounding the revolt unfold, we watch Sun Bing march toward his cruel fate, the gruesome -sandalwood punishment, - whose purpose, as in crucifixions, is to keep the condemned individual alive in mind-numbing pain as long as possible. Filled with the sensual imagery and lacerating expressions for which Mo Yan is so celebrated, Sandalwood Death brilliantly exhibits a range of artistic styles, from stylized arias and poetry to the antiquated idiom of late Imperial China to contemporary prose. Its starkly beautiful language is here masterfully rendered into English by renowned translator Howard Goldblatt. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780806143392

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 21.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Mo Yan
Published by University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Paperback Quantity Available: 4
Seller
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Oklahoma Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 424 pages. This powerful novel by Mo Yanone of contemporary Chinas most famous and prolific writersis both a stirring love story and an unsparing critique of political corruption during the final years of the Qing Dynasty, Chinas last imperial epoch. Sandalwood Death is set during the Boxer Rebellion (18981901)an anti-imperialist struggle waged by North Chinas farmers and craftsmen in opposition to Western influence. Against a broad historical canvas, the novel centers on the interplay between its female protagonist, Sun Meiniang, and the three paternal figures in her life. One of these men is her biological father, Sun Bing, an opera virtuoso and a leader of the Boxer Rebellion. As the bitter events surrounding the revolt unfold, we watch Sun Bing march toward his cruel fate, the gruesome sandalwood punishment, whose purpose, as in crucifixions, is to keep the condemned individual alive in mind-numbing pain as long as possible. Filled with the sensual imagery and lacerating expressions for which Mo Yan is so celebrated, Sandalwood Death brilliantly exhibits a range of artistic styles, from stylized arias and poetry to the antiquated idiom of late Imperial China to contemporary prose. Its starkly beautiful language is here masterfully rendered into English by renowned translator Howard Goldblatt. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780806143392

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.29
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Mo Yan
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97808061433920000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 24.09
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Mo Yan
ISBN 10: 0806143398 ISBN 13: 9780806143392
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Grand Eagle Retail
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 409 pages. 0.567. Bookseller Inventory # 9780806143392

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 24.12
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book