The Four Books
Yan Lianke's most powerful novel yet. Reminiscent of A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Darkness at Noon, Yan's mythical tale portrays the grotesque persecution during the Great Leap Forward. In the ninety-ninth district of a labour camp, the Author, Musician, Scholar, Theologian and Technician undergo re-education, to restore their revolutionary zeal. In charge of this process is the Child, who delights in enforcing draconian rules. The Four Books tells the story of one of China's most controversial periods. It also reveals the power of camaraderie, love and faith against oppression in the darkest possible times. 'A searing, allegorical view of Chinese society during some of the darkest moments of the Mao era...Yan cements his reputation as one of China's most important - and certainly most fearless - living writers.' Kirkus Reviews
* Will attract widespread review coverage in Australian and New Zealand publications such as the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian, NZ Listener and Dominion Post * Reviewed in Chinese specialist print media * Banner advertising on Text Publishing's website * Featured in the Text Publishing newsletter * Social media promotion
Shortlisted for Best Translated Book Award 2016.
Shortlisted for 2016 Man Booker International
'For once, the hype doesn't go far enough...a devastating, brilliant slice of history.' --Times
'Scathingly effective satire.' --Thousands
'The Four Books is a remarkable novel which brings to life an event which I knew about only in the abstract. --ANZ LitLovers
'A compelling account of the absurdities of the tragedy that killed an estimated 30 million people.' --North and South
'A searing, allegorical view of Chinese society during some of the darkest moments of the Mao era...Yan cements his reputation as one of China's most important-and certainly most fearless-living writers.' --Kirkus Reviews
'One of China's eminent and most controversial novelists and satirists.' --Chicago Tribune
'Bleak but powerful, disturbing yet compelling.' --National
'Woven together, these "texts" reflect the catastrophe of the times and meditate on the meaning of integrity, truth, love and ethics when confronted with horror...[Lianke] has produced an extraordinary novel.' --Guardian
Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Henan Province, China. Text has published his novels Serve the People!, Lenin's Kisses and Dream of Ding Village, which was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Yan Lianke won the Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize in 2013. He has also won two of China's most prestigious literary awards: the Lu Xan Prize and the Lao She Award. In 2014, he won the Franz Kafka Prize. He lives in Bejing.