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The Explosion Chronicles


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About the Author

Yan Lianke is the author of numerous short story collections and novels, including The Four Books, Lenin's Kisses, Serve the People!, and Dream of Ding Village, which was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and adapted into a film. He was awarded two of China's most prestigious literary honors, the Lu Xun and the Lao She prizes.


Praise for The Explosion Chronicles

"A rip-roaring Swiftian satire from a contemporary Chinese master . . . Yan Lianke, one of China's most forthright and versatile novelists, enlists extravagant comedy and far-fetched fable to propel his critique of a society where 'power and money have colluded to steal people's souls' . . . The reader slips into a literary China of poetry and mystery that flourished long before the boom." --Economist "This darkly absurd history trucks freely with the fantastic . . . but many of the more brazen events are taken straight from the news . . . Yan's burlesque of a nation driven insane by money is equally a satire of some of the excesses of the Chinese Revolution." --Wall Street Journal "A satire of ambition." --Sacramento News "Yan returns with renewed vigor to the job of lampooning communist orthodoxy, capitalist ambition, and 'contemporary China's incomprehensible absurdity' . . . [The Explosion Chronicles] has the absurdist feel of an Ionesco or D rrenmatt piece, though without any of the heavy-handed obviousness . . . It can be read as a kind of Swiftian satire . . . Brilliant." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "An epic page-turner . . . a multi-layered marvel . . . combining unflinching observation [and] stinging satire . . . Yan's mesmerizing ability to pull readers into this raw, subversive, not completely fictional world will continue to build his international audiences." --Library Journal (starred review) "This novel is a thoroughly fantastical satire where the absurdity reflects the profound truth . . . Beautiful and strongly poetic . . . Yan Lianke's ambition is not that of a polemicist, his realist and fantastical approach creates a literary work and make us feel this phenomenal transformation." --Rue 89 "Yan Lianke imagines a parable of the changes he has lived through . . . [He] manipulates irony, absurdity, and the fantastical with ease." --Telerama "Armed with a literary style called 'mythorealism', which shows an invisible reality via fiction, Yan Lianke paints a metaphoric and absurd portrait of contemporary China so obsessed with growth that its moral values have been left by the wayside. Yan Lianke's poetic prose rewards those who read to the end of this great novel of rare profundity." --Le Monde

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