Yueran Zhang, 1982-

Book - 2022

Cheng Gong and Li Jiaqi go way back. Both hailing from dysfunctional families, they grew up together in a Chinese provincial capital in the 1980s. Now, many years later, the childhood friends reunite and discover how much they still have in common. Both have always been determined to follow the tracks of their grandparents' generation to the heart of a mystery that perhaps should have stayed buried. What exactly happened during that rainy night in 1967, in the abandoned water tower? Zhang Y...ueran's layered and hypnotic prose reveals much about the unshakable power of friendship and the existence of hope. Hers is a unique fresh voice representing a new generation of important young writers from China, shedding a different light on the country's recent past.

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FICTION/Zhang Yueran
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1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Zhang Yueran (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 27, 2023
Detective and mystery fiction
Historical fiction
New York : World Editions 2022.
Item Description
First published in 2016 by People's Literature Publishing House, Beijing.
"This translation has been slightly abridged from the original, in agreement with the author."--Title page back.
Physical Description
323 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
Yueran Zhang, 1982- (author)
Other Authors
Jeremy Tiang (translator)
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Zhang (The Promise Bird) dazzles with an intricately crafted web of secrets centered on two childhood friends in China. Li Jiaqi returns as an adult to the home of her grandfather, a renowned surgeon, to take care of him as he's dying. Soon after his death, she visits her estranged friend Cheng Gong. Over the course of a snowy night, they discuss their long history and what drove them apart. The story alternates between their perspectives: Jiaqi reminisces on her father, Muyuan's, hatred of her grandfather, as well as Muyuan's cold relationship with her mother and eventual alcoholism; and Gong recounts his lower-class upbringing with a vegetative grandfather and abusive grandmother. They discuss how they met and became unlikely friends when Jiaqi transferred to Gong's school, but their relationship strained as their respective family troubles overwhelmed them and Gong learned a deadly secret about his grandfather's condition. In lyrical prose, Zhang deeply humanizes her leads as they look to the past in an effort to understand themselves. It adds up to a remarkable and tragic story of family and community. (Oct.)

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