Synopses & Reviews
Set in post-1949 Taiwan, this novel is an intimate revelation of a family's journey to catastrophe. The rather of the all-too-ordinary Fan family suddenly flees from home; his son, Fan Yeh, sets off to search for him but is repeatedly unsuccessful, returning alone to the anxiously waiting mother. As it tracks Fan Yeh's fruitless search, Wang Wen-hsing's innovative narrative unfolds the history of this family, depicting relationships both tender and brutal and divulging secrets of poverty and abuse, love and hate.
Wang Wen-hsing caused a sensation in Taiwan in 1972 with publication of Family Catastrophe, his first full-length novel. Many critics were outraged, called it socially irresponsible, morally corrupt, and stylistically irrational, but the novel weathered its controversial reception to become what is now widely regarded as a masterpiece in modern Chinese fiction and the benchmark of Taiwans Modernist movement.
Often described as Joycean, Family Catastrophe is significant for its stylistic and linguistic experimentation as well as for its disturbing and universal themes. It appears now in English for the first time.