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Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather: Stories

by Mabel Lee Xingjian Gao

Written between 1983 and 1990, these translated stories take as their themes the fragility of love and life, and the haunting power of memory. 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 Accident" a bus hits a cyclist and, as in stop-action film, the chaotic aftermath gives way to a calm, ordinary street comer with no trace of the previous drama. In the title story the narrator attempts to "unburden myself of homesickness" only to find himself 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."--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

One Man's Bible: A Novel

by Mabel Lee Xingjian Gao

One Man's Bible is the second novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Gao Xingjian to appear in English. Following on the heels of his highly praised Soul Mountain, this later work is as candid as the first, and written with the same grace and beauty. In a Hong Kong hotel room in 1996, Gao Xingjian's lover, Marguerite, stirs up his memories of childhood and early adult life under the shadow of Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution. Gao has been living in self-imposed exile in France and has traveled to this Western-influenced Chinese city-state, so close to his homeland, for the staging of one of his plays. What follows is a fictionalized account of Gao Xingjian's life under the Communist regime. Whether in "beehive" offices in Beijing or in isolated rural towns, daily life is riddled with paranoia and fear, as revolutionaries, counterrevolutionaries, reactionaries, counter reactionaries, and government propaganda turn citizens against one another. It is a place where a single sentence spoken ten years earlier can make one an enemy of the state. Gao evokes the spiritual torture of political and intellectual repression in graphic detail, including the heartbreaking betrayals he suffers in his relationships with women and men alike. One Man's Bible is a profound meditation on the essence of writing, on exile, on the effects of political oppression on the human spirit, and on how the human spirit can triumph.

Soul Mountain

by Gao Xingjian Mabel Lee

A novel by the Nobel Prize winning author, loosely based on his 15000 kilometer trek out of China, where the narrator seeks the sacred mountain of Lingshan.

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