Shortlisted, Man Asia Prize 2011 and the UK Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012
'I come from the bottom of society. All my relatives live in Henan, one of the poorest areas of China. When I think of people's situation there, it is impossible not to feel angry and emotional. Anger and passion are the soul of my work.' Yan Lianke
A dead boy tells the bizarre tale of the life and death of an entire community in Henan province.
His neighbours sell their blood and their coffins, and then arrange marriages for their own dead family members in the afterlife.
Yan Lianke, author of the masterpiece Serve the People!, is a genius storyteller and fierce satirist, confronting the moving and absurd antics of people forced to live under an inhuman regime.
'A brilliant and harrowing novel…Carter does a crystalline translation of Lianke's brazen, unflinching portrayal of a community in the throes of collapse.' Publisher's Weekly
Lianke (Serve the People!) confronts the black market blood trade and the subsequent AIDS epidemic it sparked, in a brilliant and harrowing novel. Ding village is ground zero for an AIDS epidemic that mushrooms after villagers are coerced into selling their blood and are subsequently infected by contaminated plasma injections. "Blood kingpin" Ding Hui amasses wealth and power, and nothing can stop him, not the murder of his 12-year-old son, Ding Qiang, who narrates from beyond the grave; or his dying brother, Ding Liang; or the pleas of his father, Ding Shuiyang. As the death toll climbs and coffins grow scarce, the survivors become enmeshed in petty rivalries, foolish schemes, and gossip. Shuiyang's dreams give him glimpses of the future, but the villagers won't listen, and soon they've chopped down every tree in town to build coffins, which leaves them without protection from the elements and allows Hui to further exploit the cascading disasters, culminating in a bizarrely booming business to assuage bereft parents by arranging marriages between dead young people that brings Qiang full circle. Carter does a crystalline translation of Lianke's brazen, unflinching portrayal of a community in the throes of collapse.