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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Like another Nobel Prize winner, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Gao Xingjian, China's leading novelist and playwright, mixes autobiographical details with fictional techniques to create indelible portraits of daily life under a harsh, dehumanizing political regime. In One Man's Bible, Gao gives us a profound meditation on a life marked by personal and political trauma.
The nameless narrator of the novel -- which begins in contemporary Hong Kong -- is clearly Gao himself. In the intimate aftermath of a sexual encounter, Gao revisits the central moments of his life, traveling, in memory, to the Beijing of his childhood, a childhood scarred at the age of ten by his mother's accidental drowning. From emblematic moments like this, Gao's memory ranges across time and space, gradually illuminating the nature of life before, during, and after China's disastrous Cultural Revolution.
Gao Xingjian is one of the most eloquent, authoritative voices of 20th-century China, and his personal, political, and aesthetic musings shine a light on a world that very few Westerners have ever truly understood. Ultimately, through his honesty and his artistry, Gao locates the common ground connecting us all in this memorable, universal novel about "the perplexities of being human." Bill Sheehan