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The Cave Man

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The Cave Man Cover

ISBN13: 9780982015131
ISBN10: 0982015135
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Sometimes the survivors of oppression are able to speak up, to slip in a story or two of their own. The Cave Man by Xiaoda Xiao is one of those stories. The Cave Man is not an easy book to forget... a heartbreaking story of the struggle of an individual trying to assimilate back into a society that should welcome his willingness to conform, but instead forces him again and again back into isolation.--The Brooklyn Rail

Xiao, a survivor of Mao's forced labor camps, has, like Solzhenitsyn, transformed his experience into sublimely vivid fiction. Like Kafka, Xiao has made memorable the mad, surreal conditions of the world he conjures up for us--its potential both for cruelty and for kindness. And like Chekhov, Xiao, a masterful storyteller, has given us a gorgeously crafted, hauntingly memorable tale rich in story and in human character. The Cave Man will have a transformative effect on all those fortunate enough to read it.--Jay Neugeboren, Bookforum

Xiaoda Xiao has made a stark and unforgettable contribution to the literature of imprisonment and survival.--Scott Spencer

The Cave Man is an exceptionally moving portrait of a brutalized man named Ja Feng, who has survived punishment in a 3 x 41/2 foot solitary cell for a miraculous nine months, a time that has forced him to question his basic human faculties.

The Cave Man follows Feng as he is released from his solitary confinement and as he integrates with fellow prisoners who view his skeletal figure and screaming fits as freakish. It follows him through his heartbreaking attempts to assimilate, to reestablish familial bonds, and to seek an ordinary human experience.

Xiaoda Xiao was arrested in 1971 for tearing a poster of Mao and was sentenced to a five-year prison term as a counterrevolutionary. He spent the next seven years in a prison labor reform brigade. He came to Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1989 before the breakout of the democratic movement in Tiananmen Square. He has published stories based on his prison experience during the last years of Mao's regime in various magazines including The Atlantic Monthly.

Review:

"Set in post — Cultural Revolution China, Xiao's crushing debut follows the sad trajectory of Ja Feng, who has been broken by Mao's labor camps. After attempting to expose a murder committed by a prison officer, he is crammed into a minuscule prison cell in the harshest of solitary confinement. Now a walking skeleton prone to screaming fits, Ja Feng is eventually released and cast into the world as an outsider, barely able to function. Eventually he tries to reunite with Li Xiani, his remarried ex-wife, and the daughter he has never met. The book meanders through years and across continents in a life that is heroic in its resiliency. Xiao, who served seven years in a labor camp for 'having accidentally torn a poster of Mao,' writes in dark, brooding prose and takes a dim view of Mao's China, though he manages to hold out hope for the transformative power of art and love. It's an excellent and moving novel, but don't come looking for a pick-me-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A fascinating and moving portrait of a brutalized man in Mao's China.

Synopsis:

"When it comes to prison literature, China remains a great enigma. Whereas the Soviet Union gave us Alexander Solzhenitsyn, China has, of yet, produced no such comparable international voice in the modern age. Xiao's The Cave Man is... a small start... a compelling look at Mao's forced labor prisons." -Los Angeles Times

"Like Kafka's fiction. Xiaoda's storytelling has plenty of antic vigor... fueled by an activist's anger." -Washington Post

"As a parable of modern China, [The Cave Man] is chilling." -Boston Globe

“Xiao, a survivor of Maos forced labor camps, has, like Solzhenitsyn, transformed his experience into sublimely vivid fiction. Like Kafka, Xiao has made memorable the mad, surreal conditions of the world he conjures up for us—its potential both for cruelty and for kindness. And like Chekhov, Xiao, a masterful storyteller, has given us a gorgeously crafted, hauntingly memorable tale rich in story and in human character. The Cave Man will have a transformative effect on all those fortunate enough to read it.”—Jay Neugeboren, Bookforum

The Cave Man is an exceptionally moving portrait of a brutalized man named Ja Feng, who has survived punishment in a 3 x 4½ foot solitary cell for a miraculous nine months, a time that has forced him to question his basic human faculties.

The Cave Man follows Feng as he is released from his solitary confinement and as he integrates with fellow prisoners who view his skeletal figure and screaming fits as freakish. It follows him through his heartbreaking attempts to assimilate, to reestablish familial bonds, and to seek an ordinary human experience.

About the Author

Xiaoda Xiao was arrested in 1971 for tearing a poster of Mao and was sentence to a five-year prison term as a counterrevolutionary. He came to Amherst, MA, in the spring of 1989, shortly before the breakout of the democratic movement. He has published stories based on his pexperience in various magazines in the U.S., among them, The Atlantic Monthly.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Kevin Griffith, August 15, 2010 (view all comments by Kevin Griffith)
An incredibly moving narrative of a man held prisoner in a small concrete box for nine months. After he is imprisoned, he tries to put his life back together, but he is irreparably damaged. One of the most important novels of the last few years, I think.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780982015131
Author:
Xiao, Xiaoda
Publisher:
Two Dollar Radio
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
China Politics and government 1949-1976.
Subject:
Political prisoners -- China.
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20091231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
174
Dimensions:
7.5 x 5.2 x 0.5 in 7.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Asia

The Cave Man Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 174 pages Two Dollar Radio - English 9780982015131 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set in post — Cultural Revolution China, Xiao's crushing debut follows the sad trajectory of Ja Feng, who has been broken by Mao's labor camps. After attempting to expose a murder committed by a prison officer, he is crammed into a minuscule prison cell in the harshest of solitary confinement. Now a walking skeleton prone to screaming fits, Ja Feng is eventually released and cast into the world as an outsider, barely able to function. Eventually he tries to reunite with Li Xiani, his remarried ex-wife, and the daughter he has never met. The book meanders through years and across continents in a life that is heroic in its resiliency. Xiao, who served seven years in a labor camp for 'having accidentally torn a poster of Mao,' writes in dark, brooding prose and takes a dim view of Mao's China, though he manages to hold out hope for the transformative power of art and love. It's an excellent and moving novel, but don't come looking for a pick-me-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
A fascinating and moving portrait of a brutalized man in Mao's China.
"Synopsis" by ,

"When it comes to prison literature, China remains a great enigma. Whereas the Soviet Union gave us Alexander Solzhenitsyn, China has, of yet, produced no such comparable international voice in the modern age. Xiao's The Cave Man is... a small start... a compelling look at Mao's forced labor prisons." -Los Angeles Times

"Like Kafka's fiction. Xiaoda's storytelling has plenty of antic vigor... fueled by an activist's anger." -Washington Post

"As a parable of modern China, [The Cave Man] is chilling." -Boston Globe

“Xiao, a survivor of Maos forced labor camps, has, like Solzhenitsyn, transformed his experience into sublimely vivid fiction. Like Kafka, Xiao has made memorable the mad, surreal conditions of the world he conjures up for us—its potential both for cruelty and for kindness. And like Chekhov, Xiao, a masterful storyteller, has given us a gorgeously crafted, hauntingly memorable tale rich in story and in human character. The Cave Man will have a transformative effect on all those fortunate enough to read it.”—Jay Neugeboren, Bookforum

The Cave Man is an exceptionally moving portrait of a brutalized man named Ja Feng, who has survived punishment in a 3 x 4½ foot solitary cell for a miraculous nine months, a time that has forced him to question his basic human faculties.

The Cave Man follows Feng as he is released from his solitary confinement and as he integrates with fellow prisoners who view his skeletal figure and screaming fits as freakish. It follows him through his heartbreaking attempts to assimilate, to reestablish familial bonds, and to seek an ordinary human experience.

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