In this novel by the 2012 Nobel Laureate in Literature, Mo Yan, a benign old monk listens to a prospective novice's tale of depravity, violence, and carnivorous excess while a nice little family drama--in which nearly everyone dies--unfurls. But in this tale of sharp hatchets, bad water, and a rusty WWII mortar, we can't help but laugh. Reminiscent of the novels of dark masters of European absurdism like Gunter Grass, Witold Gombrowicz, or Jakov Lind, Mo Yan's "POW " is a comic masterpiece.
In this bizarre romp through the Chinese countryside, the author treats us to a cornucopia of cooked animal flesh--ostrich, camel, donkey, dog, as well as the more common varieties. As his dual narratives merge and feather into one another, each informing and illuminating the other, Mo Yan probes the character and lifestyle of modern China. Displaying his many talents, as fabulist, storyteller, scatologist, master of allusion and cliche, and more, "POW " carries the reader along quickly, hungrily, and giddily, up until its surprising denouement.
Mo Yan has been called one of the great novelists of modern Chinese literature and "the New York Times Book Review "has hailed his work as harsh and gritty, raunchy and funny. He writes big, sometimes mystifying, sometimes infuriating, but always entertaining novels--and "POW " is no exception.
About the Author
Mo Yan (literally "don't speak") is the pen name of Guan Moye. Born in 1955 to a peasant family in Shandong province, he is the author of ten novels including Frog andRed Sorghum, which was made into a feature film, dozens of novellas, and hundreds of short stories. Mo Yan is the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature and the 2009 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature. He has won virtually every Chinese literary prize, including the Mao Dun Literature Prize in 2011 (China's most prestigious literary award) and is the most critically acclaimed Chinese writer of his generation, in both China and around the world. He lives in Beijing.
Howard Goldblatt is research professor of Chinese at the University of Notre Dame. Founding editor of "Modern Chinese Literature", he has contributed essays and articles to the" Washington Post", the" Times", "Time", "World Literature Today", and the" Los Angeles Times", among other publications.