Synopses & Reviews
The author of Red Sorghum and Chinas most revered and controversial novelist returns with his first major publication since winning the Nobel Prize
In 2012, the Nobel committee confirmed Mo Yans position as one of the greatest and most important writers of our time. In his much-anticipated new novel, Mo Yan chronicles the sweeping history of modern China through the lens of the nations controversial one- child policy.
Frog opens with a playwright nicknamed Tadpole who plans to write about his aunt. In her youth, Guguthe beautiful daughter of a famous doctor and staunch Communistis revered for her skill as a midwife. But when her lover defects, Gugus own loyalty to the Party is questioned. She decides to prove her allegiance by strictly enforcing the one-child policy, keeping tabs on the number of children in the village, and performing abortions on women as many as eight months pregnant.
In sharply personal prose, Mo Yan depicts a world of desperate families, illegal surrogates, forced abortions, and the guilt of those who must enforce the policy. At once illuminating and devastating, it shines a light into the heart of communist China.
Praise for Frog
“Heavily laced with ardent social criticism, mystical symbolism, and historical realism, Mo Yans potent exploration of Chinas most personal and intrusive social control programs probes the horrors and pain such policies inflict.” — Booklist
“Goldblatts translation is inviting, while Yans tale deftly explores the human toll of national policy and historical forces.” — Publishers Weekly
“Harrowing, haunting, poignant . . . Mo Yan proves himself a novelist of the highest calibre.”—Financial Times (UK)
“It's an expansive, fascinating cultural-political history. It skilfully blends high farce with social commentary, domestic drama with deeper themes…Much of the novel is funny, much is sad and moving, and Yan effortlessly moves between the two registers. And you really get a sense of how China and rural Northern Gaomi (Yan's hometown) have changed, almost beyond description, from Maoist times to the current hyper-capitalistic phase.”—Independent (UK)
"There is no denying the ease and beauty of his storytelling . . . this is often difficult subject matter — but never hard to read."— West Australian "Frog has that wonderful sense of flipping between the mundane and the fantastic… Both heartbreaking and absurd… a tragicomic tale."—Adelaide Advertiser
About the Author
Born in 1955, MO YAN is a native of Shandong. He has written ten novels, a number of novellas, and many short stories. He lives in China. HOWARD GOLDBLATT is widely recognized as one of the best translators from Chinese to English and has received the National Translation Award as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work. He lives in Colorado.