Turbulence

Overview

In this novel, Jia Pingwa presents an unforgettable chronicle of rural China, a world at once utterly alien and uncannily familiar. Focused on the area around the Crossroads Township, a village on the Zhou River, it follows the lives of two peasants, Golden Dog and Water Girl, through the post-Mao years and sets their starcrossed love for each other against the political upheavals of China itself.
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Overview

In this novel, Jia Pingwa presents an unforgettable chronicle of rural China, a world at once utterly alien and uncannily familiar. Focused on the area around the Crossroads Township, a village on the Zhou River, it follows the lives of two peasants, Golden Dog and Water Girl, through the post-Mao years and sets their starcrossed love for each other against the political upheavals of China itself.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Winner of the 1991 Pegasus Prize, this ambitious novel depicts the struggles of Chinese peasants during the '80s, when the People's Republic began shifting toward a market economy. Along the Zhou River, in such places as the tiny village of Stream of Wandering Spirits and the larger Crossroads Township, the persistence of traditional superstitions and lack of modern conveniences make the setting seem closer to the 19th century than to the 21st. Add I Ching philosophy, Buddhist scripture and Communist Party teachings, all of which Jia adroitly weaves into his tale, and you come away with a fairly accurate picture of the beliefs and forces that motivate Golden Dog, the peasant protagonist of this novel. The plot, however, is fairly standard: one man against the corrupt system, represented by clans which dominate the Communist Party structure and use it for personal aggrandizement and also by those peasants who manipulate the already shaky economy. It is Golden Dog's fate to walk a thin ethical line as he seeks to loosen the grip of the clans while simultaneously engaging in free enterprise under the auspices of the Party. Jia's strength lies in characterization. His serviceable prose, like the Zhou River itself, moves slowly, carrying the reader to an ending that is predestined and unremarkable. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Jia Pingwa's novel of life in 1980s China will surprise some Americans and fascinate all. Far from being a Communist polemic, Turbulence is a work of earthy power whose main focus, the tension between unbridled capitalism and traditional social mores, is as pertinent in China as in America today. Both societies, though political opposites, share the same search for a balance between greed and responsibility. Jia Pingwa's characters explore this dichotomy brilliantly. In their mountain village, each tastes success and discovers its hidden cost. Golden Dog becomes an influential reporter but sacrifices love and self-realspect. His philosophical opposite, Dakong, earns great wealth through speculation, only to be brought down by the feuding bureaucrats whose power predates Mao himself. Beautiful Water Girl forms the solid center around whom the new and old worlds swirl. Through her leads the only path away from superstition and dogma. This is an exotic gift for all readers.-- Paul E. Hutchison, Pe quea, Pa.
Booknews
Library of Congress spells author as Chia, P'ing-wa. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802139726
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/10/2003
  • Series: Pegasus Prize for Literature Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 507
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 1.14 (d)

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