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Chronicle of a Blood Merchantby Hua Yu
Synopses & Reviews
One of the last decades ten most influential books in China, this internationally acclaimed novel by one of the mainlands most important contemporary writers provides an unflinching portrait of life under Chairman Mao.
A cart-pusher in a silk mill, Xu Sanguan augments his meager salary with regular visits to the local blood chief. His visits become lethally frequent as he struggles to provide for his wife and three sons at the height of the Cultural Revolution. Shattered to discover that his favorite son was actually born of a liaison between his wife and a neighbor, he suffers his greatest indignity, while his wife is publicly scorned as a prostitute. Although the poverty and betrayals of Maos regime have drained him, Xu Sanguan ultimately finds strength in the blood ties of his family. With rare emotional intensity, grippingly raw descriptions of place and time, and clear-eyed compassion, Yu Hua gives us a stunning tapestry of human life in the grave particulars of one mans days.
About the Author
Yu Hua was born in 1960 in Zhejiang, China. He finished high school during the Cultural Revolution and worked as a dentist for five years before beginning to write in 1983. He has published three novels, six collections of stories, and three collections of essays. His work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean. In 2002 Yu Hua became the first Chinese writer to win the prestigious James Joyce Foundation Award. His novel To Live was awarded Italys Premio Grinzane Cavour in 1998, and To Live and Chronicle of a Blood Merchant were named two of the last decades ten most influential books in China. Yu Hua lives in Beijing.
Andrew F. Jones is the translator of Yu Huas first collection of short fiction in English, The Past and the Punishments, as well as a collection of literary essays by Eileen Chang. He is associate professor of modern Chinese literary and cultural studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Yellow Music: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age.
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