Dream of Ding Village

Yan Lianke, Author, Lianke Yan, Author, Cindy Carter, Translator
Yan Lianke, trans. from the Chinese by Cindy Carter, Grove, $24 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1932-2
Reviewed on: 09/06/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Open Ebook - 337 pages - 978-1-921834-66-0
Paperback - 341 pages - 978-0-8021-4572-7
Show other formats
FORMATS
Lianke (Serve the People!) confronts the black market blood trade and the subsequent AIDS epidemic it sparked, in a brilliant and harrowing novel. Ding village is ground zero for an AIDS epidemic that mushrooms after villagers are coerced into selling their blood and are subsequently infected by contaminated plasma injections. "Blood kingpin" Ding Hui amasses wealth and power, and nothing can stop him, not the murder of his 12-year-old son, Ding Qiang, who narrates from beyond the grave; or his dying brother, Ding Liang; or the pleas of his father, Ding Shuiyang. As the death toll climbs and coffins grow scarce, the survivors become enmeshed in petty rivalries, foolish schemes, and gossip. Shuiyang's dreams give him glimpses of the future, but the villagers won't listen, and soon they've chopped down every tree in town to build coffins, which leaves them without protection from the elements and allows Hui to further exploit the cascading disasters, culminating in a bizarrely booming business to assuage bereft parents by arranging marriages between dead young people that brings Qiang full circle. Carter does a crystalline translation of Lianke's brazen, unflinching portrayal of a community in the throes of collapse. (Jan.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X