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Hard Like Water

Yan Lianke Carlos Rojas



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Text Publishing Company
18 June 2021
A laugh-out-loud political and sexual satire about the Chinese Cultural Revolution, by the acclaimed author of Serve The People!

Hard Like Water is a brilliant satire about love and revolution- a thrilling story about an erotic affair during China's Cultural Revolution.

In revolutionary struggle, if you don't defeat your enemy, your enemy will defeat you...

On his return to his hometown-and his wife-to aid the Cultural Revolution, soldier Aijun sees a young woman wandering barefoot along the railway tracks in the late-afternoon sun. Her name is Hongmei. From this moment on, an 'unspeakably beautiful flower' blooms in Aijun's heart. Aijun and Hongmei hurl themselves into the town's revolutionary struggle, spending their days and nights stamping out feudalism, writing pamphlets and attending rallies- they are the engines of history. But soon their sexual and revolutionary fervour begin to merge and a crazed new love explodes between them.

The party bosses are impressed by the ardour of the pair's work. Emboldened, the couple build a 'tunnel of love'-to further the revolution, of course, but also to connect their homes and create a 'nuptial chamber' for their secret rendezvous. But when Hongmei's husband finds them there one evening, and the young couple are arrested for framing a comrade, their dreams of a life together begin to fall apart.

In the spirit of Serve the People!, Yan Lianke's sparkling first novel in English, Hard Like Water is a thoroughly entertaining tale of sexual infatuation and revolutionary zeal, a universal human drama about the nature of political power, the danger of hubris, and the freewheeling momentum of love and sexual desire-from one of China's greatest contemporary writers.
By:   Yan Lianke
Translated by:   Carlos Rojas
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   510g
ISBN:   9781922330581
ISBN 10:   1922330582
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   18 June 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Henan Province, China. He is the author of numerous novels and short-story collections, including Serve the People!, Dream of Ding Village, Lenin's Kisses, The Four Books, The Explosion Chronicles and The Day the Sun Died. He has been awarded the Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize, the Lao She Literary Award, the Dream of the Red Chamber Award and the Franz Kafka Prize. He has also been shortlisted for the International Man Booker Prize, the Principe de Asturias Prize for Letters, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the FT/Oppenheimer Fund Emerging Voices Award and the Prix Femina tranger. The Day the Sun Died won the Dream of the Red Chamber Award for the World's Most Distinguished Novel in Chinese. His memoir Three Brothers was published in 2020. He lives in Beijing.

Reviews for Hard Like Water

'A master of imaginative satire. His work is animated by an affectionate loyalty to his peasant origins in the poverty-stricken province of Henan, and fierce anger over the political abuses of the regime.' * Guardian * 'I can think of few better novelists than Yan, with his superlative gifts for storytelling and penetrating eye for truth.' * New York Times Book Review * 'Yan Lianke is one of the best contemporary Chinese writers.' * Independent *

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