Synopses & Reviews
These six stories by Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian transport the reader to moments where the fragility of love and life, and the haunting power of memory, are beautifully unveiled. In "The Temple," the narrator's acute and mysterious anxiety overshadows the delirious happiness of an outing with his new wife on their honeymoon. In "The Cramp," a man narrowly escapes drowning in the sea, only to find that no one even noticed his absence. In the titlestory, the narrator attempts to relieve his homesickness only to find that he is lost in a labyrinth of childhood memories.
Everywhere in this collection are powerful psychological portraits of characters whose unarticulated hopes and fears betray the never-ending presence of the past in their present lives.
“Dreamlike … the force of Gaos imagination is spellbinding.” San Jose Mercury News
“[Gaos] narrators walk as if in a dream through a private landscape of memory and sensation.” Boston Globe
“For all their elusiveness, these impressionistic sketches have an austere power” New York Times Book Review
“Beautiful.” Village Voice
“Precisely detailed and delicately suggestive: the best work of Gaos yet to appear in English translation.” Kirkus Reviews
“These spare, evocative pieces … offer a sample of Nobel -winner Gaos sharp, poetic early work.” Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Gao Xingjian (whose name is pronounced gow shing-jen) is the first Chinese recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in 1940 in Jiangxi province in eastern China, he has lived in France since 1987. Gao Xingjian is an artistic innovator, in both the visual arts and literature. He is that rare multitalented artist who excels as novelist, playwright, essayist, director, and painter. In addition to Soul Mountain and One Man's Bible, a book of his plays, The Other Shore, and a volume of his paintings, Return to Painting, have been published in the United States.