Mo Yan

Translated by Howard Goldblatt


6 x 9 inches, 400pp. December 2012

ISBN : 9780857420763 & 9780857422217

Rs  750.00 (HB)     595.00 (PB)
$27.50 (HB)     18.00 (PB)
£18.00 (HB)     0.00 (PB)

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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, 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

Mo Yan has been described as 'one of the most famous, oft-banned and widely pirated of all Chinese writers'. His works have been translated into more than a dozen languages, including English, German and French and his honours include the Kiriyama Prize Notable Books (for Big Breasts and Wide Hips, 2005), Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize XVII(2006), Man Asian Literary Prize nominee (for Big Breasts and Wide Hips, 2007), Newman Prize for Chinese Literature (for Sontag, 2009) and the Nobel Prize in Literature, 2012.


Howard Goldblatt is research professor of Chinese at the University of Notre Dame. He has published English translations of more than 30 novels and story collections by writers from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He has also authored and edited half a dozen books on Chinese literature.




Praise for Mo Yan