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English
Seagull
01 November 2021
In this novel by the 2012 Nobel Laureate in Literature, a benign old monk listens to a prospective novice's tale of depravity, violence and carnivorous excess while a nice little family drama - in which nearly everyone dies - unfurls. But in this tale of sharp hatchets, bad water and a rusty WWII mortar, we can't help but laugh. Reminiscent of the novels of dark masters of European absurdism like Gnter Grass, Witold Gombrowicz or Jakov Lind, Mo Yan's POW! is a comic masterpiece.

In this bizarre romp through the Chinese countryside, the author treats us to a cornucopia of cooked animal flesh - ostrich, camel, donkey, dog as well as the more common varieties. As his dual narratives merge and feather into one another, each informing and illuminating the other, Mo Yan probes the character and lifestyle of modern China. Displaying his many talents, as fabulist, storyteller, scatologist, master of allusion and clich and more, POW! carries the reader along quickly, hungrily and giddily, up until its surprising dnouement.

Mo Yan has been called one of the great novelists of modern Chinese literature and the New York Times Book Review has hailed his work as harsh and gritty, raunchy and funny. He writes big, sometimes mystifying, sometimes infuriating, but always entertaining novels - and POW! is no exception.
By:  
Translated by:  
Imprint:   Seagull
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 203mm,  Width: 127mm,  Spine: 21mm
Weight:   570g
ISBN:   9780857422217
ISBN 10:   0857422219
Pages:   392
Publication Date:  
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mo Yan has published dozens of short stories and novels in Chinese. His other English-language 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. The founding editor of Modern Chinese Literature, he has contributed essays and articles to the Washington Post, the Times (UK), Time, World Literature Today, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.

Reviews for POW!

Mo, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, was much criticized in the days following the award for his perceived cozy relationship with the Chinese government and reluctance to stand up for freedom of expression. Such judgments, however, are challenged by his bold, outlandish and far from apolitical new novel. Like his earlier works, Pow! defies easy definition. It is national and personal in its concerns, surreal and real, and as comic as it is serious. --Krys Lee Financial Times


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