By Howard Goldblatt

Chairman Mao wouldn't Be Amused is a show off for 20 writers from the hot literary new release in China. Hard-core realism, experimental prose, and black humor; exoticism and eroticism;shocking stories of brutality, gentle evocations of affection, and engrossing mysteries all coexist in an anthology that spans approximately a decade, ten years that experience witnessed a dizzying array of societal and political adjustments. just about all of the tales look in English translation for the 1st time. contains Shi Tiesheng, “First Person”; Hong Ying, “The Field”; Su Tong, “The Brothers Shu”; Wang Meng, “A String of Choices”; Li Rui, “Sham Marriage”; Duo Duo, “The Day I received to Xi’an”; Chen Ran, “Sunshine among the Lips”; Li Xiao, “Grass at the Rooftop”; Yu Hua, The earlier and the Punishments”; Mo Yan, “The Cure”; Ai Bei, “Green Earth Mother”; Cao Naiqian, “When i feel of You overdue at evening, There’s not anything i will be able to Do”; Can Xue, “The Summons”; Bi Feiyu, “The Ancestor”; Yang Zhengguang, “Moonlight over the sector of Ghosts”; Ge Fei, “Remembering Mr. Wu You”; Chen Cun, “Footsteps at the Roof”; Chi Li, “Willow Waist”; Kong Jiesheng, “The napping Lion”; Wang Xiangfu, “Fritter hole Chronicles.”

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Shi is described as “crippled during the Cultural Revolution”. So many lives were needlessly destroyed during that tumultuous decade, it is easy to feel that the arrest and subsequent conviction of the notorious Gang of Four was not nearly sufficient punishment for them. "First Person" tells the story of a man with a heart condition-Shi frequently writes about the lives of handicapped people, according to his description-who is visiting his new 21st floor apartment for the first time. While climbing the stairs very slowly, taking frequent rests, he notices a cemetery separated from the apartment building by a huge wall.

I watched her spin around and take off toward school, leaving Shu Nong standing motionless and gloomy, holding his face in his hands as he followed her pudgy figure with his eyes. Then he looked at me-gloom filled his eyes. I can still see that fearful look on his fourteen-year-old face, best described as that of a young criminal genius. "Let's go," I said. " He shook his head, jammed his finger up his nose, and dug around a bit. "You go ahead. " Shu Nong played hooky a lot, so that was no big deal.

You'll be able to see it as soon as you get off the bus. " Maybe it was close to midnight, in a gloomy corner of a diner. The occasional sound of lonely whistling from someone walking came from the street. The little diner was about to close. "The building is twenty-one stories. " But what about the woman inside the wall? Who was she? What was she doing here? Maybe she and the man outside the wall had absolutely no connection to each other. But did they really have no connection? She was sitting beneath the big tree, not making a sound.

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Chairman Mao Would Not Be Amused: Fiction from Today's China by Howard Goldblatt


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