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Bei Ling…a tale of ribaldry, farce and bloody revolution, a dramatic panorama of human vulgarity…And yet the writing is not coldblooded; human warmth and compassion do come through all the cruel absurdity. There is little doubt that Yu is paying tribute to the magical realist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but his use of language is faithful to his mother tongue, and this translation by Eileen Cheng-yin Chow and Carlos Rojas never falls into the Westernized diction that afflicts many fiction writers in modern China. Ironically, we can see a true picture of the country refracted in this funhouse mirror.
—The Washington Post