In Change, Mo Yan—China’s foremost novelist—personalizes the political and social changes in his country over the past few decades in a novella disguised as autobiography (or vice-versa). Unlike most historical narratives from China, which are pegged to political events, Change is a representative of “people’s history,” a bottom-up rather than top-down view of a country in flux. By moving back and forth in time and focusing on small events and everyday people, Yan breathes life into history by describing the effects of larger-than-life events on the average citizen.
Praise for Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh
“If China has a Kafka, it may be Mo Yan. Like Kafka, Yan has the ability to examine his society through a variety of lenses, creating fanciful, Metamorphosis-like transformations or evoking the numbing bureaucracy and casual cruelty of modern governments.” —Publishers Weekly.
“As shrewd as he is captivating, Mo Yan is dedicated to explicating the suffering and resilience of ordinary people and to telling a darn good story.”—Booklist
Mo Yan has published dozens of short stories and novels in Chinese. His other works include The Garlic Ballads, The Republic of Wine, Shifu: You'll Do Anything for a Laugh, Big Breasts & Wide Hips, and Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out.
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, Times of London, TIME Magazine, World Literature Today, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.