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Monday, May 25, 2015

*****The Garlic Ballads by Mo Yan


  • Translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt. 
  • Setting 1985, China
  • Other Mo Yan books I have read:  Big Breasts and Wide Hips, which is my favorite book of the author's,  to date. 
  • In China, Mo Yan is a controversial writer. Other Chinese writer's believe he snuggles too closely with their government, so to speak. I disagree. I believe he schmoozes with the government so he can get away with writing what he does about Chinese life. It is not favorable, but it is real. It is clear he has a love for his homeland. Just because the country has severe problems does not take away from the inherent beauty of its land and people.
  • Mo Yan's writing is visually descriptive and beautiful. It possesses a quality and depth that is astounding. His contemporary writing illustrates the causal violence that predominates the third world areas of the country. While the violence is difficult to read and comprehend, it does not take away from the beauty of Mo Yan's narrative.

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