Chairman Mao Would Not Be Amused: Fiction from Today's China

Chairman Mao Would Not Be Amused: Fiction from Today's China

by Howard Goldblatt
     
 

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Chairman Mao Would Not Be Amused is a showcase for 20 writers from the new literary generation in China. Hard-core realism, experimental prose, and black humor; exoticism and eroticism;shocking tales of brutality, tender evocations of love, and engrossing mysteries all coexist in an anthology that spans nearly a decade, ten years that have witnessed a dizzying

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Overview

Chairman Mao Would Not Be Amused is a showcase for 20 writers from the new literary generation in China. Hard-core realism, experimental prose, and black humor; exoticism and eroticism;shocking tales of brutality, tender evocations of love, and engrossing mysteries all coexist in an anthology that spans nearly a decade, ten years that have witnessed a dizzying array of societal and political changes. Almost all of the stories appear in English translation for the first time. Includes Shi Tiesheng, “First Person”; Hong Ying, “The Field”; Su Tong, “The Brothers Shu”; Wang Meng, “A String of Choices”; Li Rui, “Sham Marriage”; Duo Duo, “The Day I Got to Xi’an”; Chen Ran, “Sunshine Between the Lips”; Li Xiao, “Grass on the Rooftop”; Yu Hua, The Past and the Punishments”; Mo Yan, “The Cure”; Ai Bei, “Green Earth Mother”; Cao Naiqian, “When I Think of You Late at Night, There’s Nothing I Can Do”; Can Xue, “The Summons”; Bi Feiyu, “The Ancestor”; Yang Zhengguang, “Moonlight over the Field of Ghosts”; Ge Fei, “Remembering Mr. Wu You”; Chen Cun, “Footsteps on the Roof”; Chi Li, “Willow Waist”; Kong Jiesheng, “The Sleeping Lion”; Wang Xiangfu, “Fritter Hollow Chronicles.”

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In contrast to the utopian official literature of Communist China, the stories in this wide-ranging collection marshal wry humor, entangled sex, urban alienation, nasty village politics and frequent violence. Translated ably enough to keep up with the colloquial tone, most tales are told with straightforward familiarity, drawing readers into small communities and personal histories that are anything but heroic. ``The Brothers Shu,'' by Su Tong (Raise the Red Lantern), is an urban tale of young lust and sibling rivalry in a sordid neighborhood around the ironically named Fragrant Cedar Street. That story's earthiness is matched by Wang Xiangfu's folksy ``Fritter Hollow Chronicles,'' about peasants' vendettas and local politics, and by ``The Cure,'' by Mo Yan (Red Sorghum; The Garlic Ballads), which details the fringe benefits of an execution. Personal alienation and disaffection are as likely to appear in stories with rural settings (Li Rui's ``Sham Marriage'') as they are to poison the lives of urban characters (Chen Cun's ``Footsteps on the Roof''). Comedy takes an elegant and elaborate form in ``A String of Choices,'' Wang Meng's tale of a toothache cure, and it assumes the burlesque of small-town propaganda fodder in Li Xiao's ``Grass on the Rooftop.'' Editor Goldblatt has chosen not to expand the contributors' biographies or elaborate on the collection's post-Tiananmen context. He lets the stories speak for themselves, which, fortunately, they do, quietly and effectively. (July)
Library Journal
The 20 authors represented here range from Wang Meng, the former minister of culture, to Su Tong, whose Raise the Red Lantern has been immortalized on screen.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802134493
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/1996
Pages:
322
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

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