In Change, Mo Yan, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, personalizes the political and social changes in his country over the past few decades in this novella disguised as autobiography—or vice versa. Unlike most historical narratives from China, which are pegged to political events, Change is a representative of ‘people’s history’, a bottom-up rather than top-down view of a country in flux. By moving back and forth in time and focusing on small events and everyday people, Mo Yan breathes life into history by describing the effects of larger-than-life events on the average citizen.
‘Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition.’—Nobel Committee for Literature
‘Mo Yan is a writer who, defiantly in the face of those who wish his work were less cartoonish and more straightforward in its political meanings, continues to sing his own peculiar and alluring song.’—Dwight Garner, New York Times
‘If China has a Kafka, it may be Mo Yan. Like Kafka, Yan has the ability to examine his society through a variety of lenses, creating fanciful, Metamorphosis-like transformations or evoking the numbing bureaucracy and casual cruelty of modern governments.’—Publishers Weekly
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