The years, months, days Two novellas

Lianke Yan, 1958-

Book - 2017

Yan LiankezChinas most feted and most banned authory (Financial Times)is a master of imaginative satire, and his prize-winning works have been published around the world to the highest honors. Now, his two most acclaimed novellas are collected here in a single volumemasterfully crafted stories that explore the sacrifices made for family, the driving will to survive, and the longing to leave behind a personal legacy.

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Subjects
Genres
Psychological fiction
Published
New York : Black Cat 2017.
Edition
First Grove Atlantic paperback edition
Language
English
Chinese
Item Description
"The years, months, days first published in China in 1997 as Nian yue ri by Harvest magazine ; Marrow first published in China in 2001 as Balou tiange."
Physical Description
x, 192 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780802126658
0802126650
Main Author
Lianke Yan, 1958- (-)
Other Authors
Carlos Rojas, 1970- (translator)
  • The years, months, days
  • Marrow.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* This volume contains two highly acclaimed novellas from Lianke, winner of the prestigious Franz Kafka Prize, three-time nominee for the Man Booker International Prize, and author of 14 novels and more than 40 short stories. "The Years, Months, Days," winner of the Lu Xun Literary Prize, is the magnificent story of an elderly man's decision to remain in his village during a terrible drought to raise a single corn seed. Together, the Elder and his only companion, a blind dog, fight to survive as food becomes scarce and nature itself threatens to overcome them. In "Marrow," a widowed woman seeks a cure for her four mentally disabled children. After her husband commits suicide, she is left to raise them and take care of her crops by any means possible. However, when she discovers that the bones of a close relative can cure her children's mental illness, she takes extreme measures to provide enough bones for them all. Lianke paints vivid scenes of desolate circumstances with an incredible mastery of words and control of his imagery. His masterpieces are sure to engage readers. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

A Franz Kafka Prize winner who has been short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize (twice) and the Man Asian Literary Prize, renowned Chinese author Yan doesn't sugarcoat his narratives. "Marrow," the first of these two novellas, features a widow desperate to provide for her four physically and mentally disabled children, who makes them soup from their father's bones because she hears that might heal them. In "The Years, Months, Days," a Chinese best seller that won the Lu Xun Literary Prize, drought has forced everyone out of a village but an old man, who cannot endure the march through the mountains and instead survives on a single ear of corn. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Set in the fictional Balou Mountains in Yan's home province of Henan (also the setting for Lenin's Kisses), these two compelling novellas both exalt emotional bonds and warn against their fatal consequences. To escape endless drought, an entire village flees in search of sustenance in "Years, Months, Days." A left-behind 72-year-old man and his blind dog work obsessively to ensure the harvest of the sole remaining corn stalk, sustained by their tenacious devotion for each other. In "Marrow," a widowed mother has made their village "infamous" with her epileptic offspring: You Village is better known as Four Idiots Village. She managed to marry her two older daughters to "a cripple [and] a one-eyed freak," respectively, but her third daughter demands a "wholer" husband. The mother's search grows frantic as her youngest continuously makes sexual advances toward his sister. She'll stop at nothing—deception, grave robbing, death—to get her children properly coupled. Dexterously rendered by Duke professor Rojas (Yan's anointed translator), this work again directs the author's unflinching gaze on life's impossible absurdities, exposing a surreal mixture of brutality, openness, even sly humor. VERDICT Libraries with internationally minded readers will want to provide Yan's provocative latest-in-English title to his substantial audiences. [See Prepub Alert, 6/26/17.]—Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Lianke's talent for the fantastical shines in this collection of two novellas. In the title piece, an elder stays behind after a long drought drives his fellow village residents to more amiable climates; he claims he'd "surely die of exhaustion" if he joined their pilgrimage. With only his blind dog by his side, and battling both the elements and encroaching wild beasts, the elder toils under the hot sun to survive, nursing a lone corn seedling and devising various schemes to stay alive. "Marrow," the second novella, features a devoted mother who will stop at nothing to provide her disabled children with happiness. A widow, she speaks to her husband's ghost as she wheels and deals to land suitors, promising grains and goods to potential mates and leaving herself with little to survive. Though they contain dark subject matter, Lianke's fables of personal sacrifice are also sharply observed and funny. Lianke's narratives feel much larger than their page count suggest, almost epic. Agent: Laura Susjin, the Susjin Agency. (Dec.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An English-language publication of two of the award-winning author's most acclaimed novellas includes Marrow, in which a widow goes to extremes to provide a normal life for her four disabled children; and The Years, Months, Days, in which an elderly man struggles for survival in his drought-stricken, abandoned village. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Yan Lianke—“China’s most feted and most banned author” (Financial Times)—is a master of imaginative satire, and his prize-winning works have been published around the world to the highest honors. Now, his two most acclaimed novellas are collected here in a single volume—masterfully crafted stories that explore the sacrifices made for family, the driving will to survive, and the longing to leave behind a personal legacy.Marrow is the haunting tale of a widow who goes to extremes to provide a normal life for her four disabled children. When she discovers that bones—especially those of kin—can cure their illnesses and prevent future generations from the same fate, she feeds them a medicinal soup made from the skeleton of her dead husband. But after running out of soup, she resorts to a measure that only a mother can take.In the luminous, moving title story, The Years, Months, Days—a bestselling, classic fable in China, and winner of the prestigious Lu Xun Literary Prize—an elderly man stays behind in his small village after a terrible drought forces everyone to leave. Unable to make the grueling march through the mountains, he becomes the lone inhabitant, along with a blind dog. As he fends off the natural world from overtaking his hometown, every day is a victory over death.With touches of the fantastical and with deep humanity, these two magnificent novellas—masterpieces of the short form—reflect the universality of mankind’s will to live, live well, and live with purpose.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From “one of China’s most successful writers” (The New Yorker), two masterful novellas exploring the stigma of mental illness, the sacrifices made for family, and the desire to leave behind a personal legacy