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 Günter 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 cliché and more, POW! carries the reader along quickly, hungrily and giddily, up until its surprising dénouement.
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.
‘If China has a Kafka, it may be Mo Yan. Like Kafka, Mo 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
‘On October 11, the Chinese writer Mo Yan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and two months later his new novel, Pow!, demonstrates for Americans why he deserved to win. It’s a vibrant, visceral novel that is both personal and political, realistic and surrealistic, funny and shocking. The explosive title cries out —Pow!— but it is also a subtle display of narrative wizardry [. . .] Mo Yan’s Pow! is a pyrotechnic display of how to blow up one’s personal life to mythic proportions.’ —Steven Moore, Washington Post
‘This vibrant, visceral novel [. . .] takes aim at gross materialism and corruption.’ —New York Times Book Review
‘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 you are ordering from India, your order will be shipped from Seagull Books, Calcutta.
If you are ordering from the US or the UK or anywhere else in the world, your order will be shipped from the University of Chicago Press' distribution centre, Chicago.
Please note: For customers paying in currencies other than Indian rupee or US dollar, prices will be calculated according to the currency conversion rate at the time of purchase and may vary from the printed price.