Agent: Sandra Dijkstra
Sweeping, humorous, and moving tales from one of contemporary China's greatest writers.
The bestselling and award-winning author of novels satirizing contemporary China, Liu Zhenyun is also renowned for his short stories. Remembering 1942 showcases six of his best, featuring a diverse cast of ordinary people struggling against the obstacles (bureaucratic, economic, and personal) that life presents. The six exquisite stories that comprise this collection range from an exploration of office politics unmoored by an unexpected gift to the tale of a young soldier attempting to acclimate to his new life as a student and the story of a couple struggling to manage the demands of a young child. Another, about petty functionaries trying to solve a mystery of office intrigue, reads like a survival manual for Chinese bureaucracy. The masterful title story explores the legacy of the drought and famine that struck Henan Province in 1942, tracing its echoes in one man's personal journey through war and revolution and into the present.
Each story is rich in wit, insight, and empathy, and together they bring into focus the realities of China's past and present, evoking clearly and mordantly the often Kafkaesque circumstances of contemporary life in the world's most populous nation.
Translated by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin