Candy

( 16 )

Overview

An international literary phenomenon-now available for the first time in English translation-Candy is a hip, harrowing tale of risk and desire, the story of a young Chinese woman forging a life for herself in a world seemingly devoid of guidelines. Hong, who narrates the novel, and whose life in many ways parallels the author's own, drops out of high school and runs away at age 17 to the frontier city of Shenzen. As Hong navigates the temptations of the city, she quickly falls in love with a young musician and ...

See more details below
Paperback
$18.32
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$20.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (44) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $16.96   
  • Used (37) from $1.99   
Candy

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

An international literary phenomenon-now available for the first time in English translation-Candy is a hip, harrowing tale of risk and desire, the story of a young Chinese woman forging a life for herself in a world seemingly devoid of guidelines. Hong, who narrates the novel, and whose life in many ways parallels the author's own, drops out of high school and runs away at age 17 to the frontier city of Shenzen. As Hong navigates the temptations of the city, she quickly falls in love with a young musician and together they dive into a cruel netherworld of alcohol, drugs, and excess, a life that fails to satisfy Hong's craving for an authentic self, and for a love that will define her. This startling and subversive novel is a blast of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll that opens up to us a modern China we've never seen before. - Banned in China-with Mian Mian labeled the 'poster child for spiritual pollution'-CANDY still managed to sell 60,000 copies, as well as countless additional copies in pirated editions. - CANDY has been published in eight countries to date and has become a bestseller in France.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
"...a fascinating mixture of tone, observation and material...particularly well-written, beautifully translated novel..."
7/11/03
The Washington Post
Candy is a fascinating mixture of tone, observation and material. ...a fascinating mixture of tone, observation and material...particularly well-written, beautifully translated novel...— 7/11/03
Publishers Weekly
Chinese novelist Mian Mian's American debut offers readers a vicarious journey to a place and time shrouded in mystery: gritty, underground China of the late 1980s through mid-1990s. The story begins in Shanghai, when a classmate's suicide prompts narrator Hong to drop out of high school. Fearing she'll never get a job without an education, Hong heads south to the Special Economic Zone, where the government has lifted restrictions so business can flourish. Among the most successful enterprises are nightclubs, gambling, drugs and prostitution. Hong falls in love with a musician and quickly succumbs to an endless nightlife of sex and drugs and all the problems that tend to accompany such fun. Mian doesn't shy away from the ugliness of this world-alcoholism, drug addiction and AIDS cases abound-but her perceptive, compassionate writing turns Hong's raw experiences into something beautiful. Hong's frequent self-analysis feels honest, unpretentious and believably adolescent; Mian never lets us forget that for all her grim, worldly experience, Hong is still touchingly young and exuberant: "My mood was like my lover's hair. Love, for me, was partly a mood, just like that ultradopey bullshit music that I sometimes liked to listen to. That kind of music made me jumpy, but when I felt tense, I felt happy." Though the prose is uneven, sometimes straining awkwardly for lyrical effect, readers will find Hong a compelling personality. (July 15) Forecast: Like Wei Hui (Shanghai Baby, Atria, 2002), Mian is a cult figure in China, her novels banned by the government. The two novelists are embroiled in a feud-Mian has accused Wei of plagiarizing her-which might provide grist for off-the-book-page coverage in the U.S. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
"My readers are in the streets," Mian Mian has said of her controversial first novel, which was banned in her homeland of China and is available in America for the first time with this translation. This semi-autobiographical story nakedly narrates a harrowing ten years in the life of the narrator, a young woman named Hong. The dysfunctional relationship between Hong, an aspiring writer, and Saining, an aspiring musician, frames a novel that ricochets through the stories of sex, drugs, prostitution, AIDS, suicide, and music that dominate the lives of disaffected youths in China's counterculture. Mian Mian gives little descriptive attention to the political and social conditions taking place outside of her characters' self-absorbed heads. Much of the novel's acclaimed rawness and shock seems stilted in translation, and its emotional fervor seems as familiar and fleeting as a piece of candy on the tongue. Not recommended.-Prudence Peiffer, Ctr. for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Comparisons to Bright Lights, Big City and other Brat Pack landmarks surround this infamous autobiographical first novel (already banned in China). It's a morose tale of "Loneliness, apathy, misery, helplessness, depression, and self-loathing": the story of Hong, a 17-year-old girl who runs away from her Shanghai school and family in 1986, ending up in the bustling, effectively lawless southern city of Shenzen in China's "New Economic Zone." Hong drifts about, getting into trouble, working briefly as a nightclub singer, exchanging stab wounds with a particularly creepy boyfriend, then losing her virginity to Saining, a conflicted, weak-willed pop-rock guitarist and composer. The pair can neither live together nor apart, as Saining becomes a heroin addict, passing on both his habit and his self-destructive sensibility to Hong, who experiments with numerous ways to further ravage her frail body (she's asthmatic) until she's injured in a gang war and brought back to a Shanghai hospital by her clueless father. Then guess what? She turns to writing as therapy ("a method of transforming corruption and decay into something wonderful and miraculous"), takes a bisexual lover, offers comfort and sympathy to acquaintances stalked by AIDS, and hesitantly readmits the supposedly reformed Saining back into her life, as both are approaching 30 and ostensibly too mature to keep tearing themselves and each other to pieces. Candy is a mercifully quick read: lots of action, many clichés (which probably aren't the fault of Lingenfelter's brisk translation), an abundance of clipped dialogue festooned with trendy obscenities and explicitly detailed sex. Interpolated anecdotal portrayals of other restlessyouths hell-bent on early death provide some variation, but little relief. We're stuck with Hong's smug, essentially unconvincing declarations of self-reclamation and enlightenment. Mian's grasp of sordid detail is firm and sure, but the nasty high that Candy produces doesn't linger, and probably isn't all that good for you.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316563567
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,015,203
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Candy


By Mian Mian

BACK BAY BOOKS

Shen Wang
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0316563560


Chapter One

A

Why did my father always have to push me in front of the Mona Lisa? And why did he always make me listen to classical music? I suppose it was just my fate, for want of a better word. I was twenty-seven years old before I finally got the courage to ask my father these questions-up until then, I couldn't even bring myself to utter the woman's name, I was so terrified of her.

My father answered that Chopin was good music. So when I was bawling my head off, he would shut me in a room all by myself and have me listen to Chopin. In those days none of our neighbors had a record player or a television the way we did. What's more, many of them were forced to subsist on the vegetable scraps they scrounged at the market, since meat, cloth, oil, and other basics were still being rationed. My father thought that as a member of the only "intellectual," or educated, family in our entire apartment building, I should feel fortunate.

Father said that it had never occurred to him that I might be afraid of that print hanging on our wall. Why didn't I just look at the world map that was hanging right next to it? Or the map of China? Or my own drawings? Why did I have to look at that picture? At length he asked, Anyway, why were you so afraid of her?

Many other people have asked me this very question, and each time someone asks, I feel that much less terrified. Still, it's a question I can't answer. Just as I can't explain why, from the time I was a very small child and barely able to talk, my father would have chosen to deal with my crying the way he did.

I have never actually taken a good close look at that woman (I'm far too afraid of her to attempt that). Nonetheless, my most powerful childhood memories are of her portrait.

As I grew older, certain ideas became fixed in my mind. Her eyes were like a car crash at the moment of impact; her nose was an order issuing from the darkness, like a ramrod-straight ladder; the corners of her mouth were cataclysmic whirlpools. She seemed to have no bones except for her brow bones, and those bald brows were an ever-present mockery. Her clothing was like an umbrella so massive that it threatened to steal me away. And then there were her cheeks and fingers. There was no denying that they resembled more than anything the decaying pieces of a corpse.

She was a dangerous woman. And I was often in this dangerous presence. I had very few fears, but she terrified me. In middle school history class, I was once startled to look up and find myself face-to-face with a slide projection of this painting. My throat tightened, and I cried out in shock. My teacher reacted by concluding that I was a bad student and making me stand up as punishment.

Then he took me to see the assistant principal, who gave me a stern lecture. At one point they went so far as to accuse me of reading "pornography," like the then-popular underground book The Heart of a Young Girl.

That was the beginning of my hatred for the man who had painted her. And I started to despise as well all those who called themselves "intellectuals." My hatred had a kind of purity about it-I would open my heart and feel a convulsive anger pulsing in my blood. I named this sensation "loathing."

My unalloyed fear of this painting stripped away any sense of closeness I might have felt toward my parents. And it convinced me, all too soon, that the world was unknowable and incomprehensible. Later I found the strength to deal with my fear. I found it in the moon and in the moonlight. Sometimes it was in rays of light that resembled moonlight, and sometimes I saw it in eyes or lips that were like moonlight. At other times still it was in the moonlight of a man's back.

B

When it rains I often think of Lingzi. She once told me about a poem that went: "Rain falling in the spring, / Is heaven and earth making love." These lines were a puzzle to us, but Lingzi and I spent a lot of time trying to unravel various problems. We might be trying to figure out germs, or the fear of heights, or even a phrase like "Love is a fantasy you have while smoking your third cigarette."

Lingzi was my high school desk mate, and she had a face like a white sheet of paper. Her pallor was an attitude, a sort of trance. Those days are still fresh in my mind. I was a melancholy girl who loved to eat chocolate and did poorly in school. I collected candy wrappers, and I would use these, along with boxes that had once contained vials of medicine, to make sunglasses.

Soon after the beginning of our second year of high school, Lingzi's hair started to look uneven, with a short clump here, a longer hank there. There were often scratch marks on her face.

Lingzi had always been extremely quiet, but now her serenity had become strange. She told me she was sure that one of the boys in our class was watching her. She said he gave her steamy looks- steamy was the word she used, and I remember exactly how she said it. She was constantly being encircled by his gaze, she said. It made her think all kinds of unwholesome, selfish thoughts. She insisted that it was absolutely out of the question for her to let anything distract her from her studies. Lingzi believed that this boy was watching her because she was pretty. This filled her with feelings of shame. Since being pretty was the problem, she had decided to make herself ugly, convinced that this would set her back on the right path. She was sure that if she were ugly, then no one would look at her anymore; and if nobody was looking at her, then she could concentrate on her studies. Lingzi said she had to study hard, since, as all of us knew, the only guarantee of a bright future was to gain admission to a top university.

Throughout the term, Lingzi continued to alter her appearance in all kinds of bizarre ways. People quit speaking to her. In the end most of our classmates avoided her altogether.

As for me, I didn't think that Lingzi had been that pretty to begin with. I felt that I understood her-she was simply too high-strung. Our school was a "key school," and it was fairly common for a student at a school like ours to have a sudden nervous breakdown. Anyway, it wasn't clear to me how I could help Lingzi. She seemed so calm and imperturbable.

Then one day Lingzi didn't come to school. And from then on, her seat remained empty. The rumor was that she had violent tendencies. Her parents had had to tie her up with rope and take her to a mental hospital.

Everyone started saying that Lingzi had "gone crazy." I started eating chocolate with a vengeance, and that was the beginning of my bad habit of bingeing on chocolate whenever I'm anxious or upset. Even today, eleven years later, I haven't been able to break this habit, with the result that I have a very serious blood sugar problem.

I sneaked into the hospital to see her. One Saturday afternoon, wearing a red waterproof sweat suit, I slipped in through the chain-link fence of the mental hospital. In truth, I'm sure I could have used the main entrance. Although it was winter, I brought Lingzi her favorite Baby-Doll brand ice cream, along with some preserved olives and salty dried plums. I sat compulsively eating my chocolates while she ate her ice cream and sweet olives. All of the other patients on the ward were adults. I did most of the talking, and whenever I finished saying something, no matter what the subject was, Lingzi would laugh. Lingzi had a clear, musical laugh, just like bells ringing. But on this day her laughter simply struck me as weird.

What did Lingzi talk about? She kept repeating the same thing over and over: The drugs they give you in this hospital make you fat. Really, really fat.

Sometime later I heard that Lingzi had left the hospital. Her parents made a series of pleas to the school, asking the teachers to inform everyone that Lingzi was not being allowed any visitors. One rainy afternoon, the news of Lingzi's death reached our school. People said that her parents had gone out one day, and a boy had taken advantage of their absence. He had brought Lingzi a bouquet of fresh flowers. This was 1986, and there were only two flower stands in all of Shanghai, both newly opened. That night, Lingzi slashed her wrists in the bathroom of her family's apartment. People said that she died standing.

This terrible event hastened my deterioration into a "problem child."

I quit trusting anything that anyone told me. Aside from the food that I put into my mouth, there was nothing I believed in. I had lost faith in everything. I was only sixteen, but my life was over. Fucking over.

Strange days overtook me, and I grew idle. I let myself go, feeling that I had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with. Indolence made my voice increasingly gravelly. I started to explore my body, either in front of the mirror or at my desk. I had no desire to understand it-I only wanted to experience it.

Facing the mirror and looking at myself, I saw my own desire in all its unfamiliarity. When I secretly pressed my sex up against the cold corner of my desk, I sometimes felt a pleasurable spasm. Just as it had been the first time, my early experiences of this "joy" were often beyond my control.

This was the beginning of my wasted youth. After that winter, Lingzi's lilting laughter would constantly trail behind me, pursuing me as I fled headlong into a boundless darkness.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Candy by Mian Mian
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    To Jessica

    Hi yes i do want to chat my name is sidney

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Hi im a nerd

    What the hell you actually believed me.? Go sugk a difk

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    To jess

    Can you be my bf i got big boob

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Thomas kat emma

    Hey yall

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Carter

    Hey can i join please and yes ima a girl

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Samantha

    I hate all of you!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    I LOVE CANDY!!!!!!!!!

    I LOVE CANDY AND BUTTERFINGERS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    R

    Great book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Shelby hey

    Hey

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2009

    ?

    This shows the other side of China. True story about many drug addictions as well as using sex to connect to people. Not my favorite book, the characters didn't really evolve. They just seemed to be bipolar in ALL of their "somewhat" decisions. The [love] story wasn't about love, it was an unnecessary addiction like everything else in the book was. It was almost as if the author was confused, the style of writing shows.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2006

    literary candy!

    When I first started the book, I had serious doubts about it. I thought it would another stereotypical account of the age of drugs and sexual abandon - told by an overzealous, remeninscent, and pretentious viewpoint. BUT - I was mistaken! It wasn't long before I began to really, truly enjoy the words Mian Mian had created. The writing is pure literature. It is told with honesty, a clear voice, subtle emotion, and with a pleasing pace. There is nothing pretentious about this book, I am very happy to say!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2004

    China as the West has never seen

    Mian Mian delivers in this epic story of heroin addiction in modern China, which, when paralleled to a hazy, nine-year love affair, is an absolute struggle, of course, but Mian Mian gives us the beauty in working toward beating 'the dragon'. I would recommend this story to anyone who has ever swam against the current.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2004

    This novel was kind of shocking

    I read this book and it opened up another side of China that most Westners never knew exsited. This novel explores drug abuse, homosexuality, and depression. It also reveals the changes taking place as China opens itself up to the world. If anyone is interested in modern China, read this!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)