Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780307386069, 641pp.
Publication Date: January 12, 2010
Here is China as we've never seen it before, in a sweeping, Rabelaisian panorama of forty years of rough-and-rumble Chinese history, from the madness of the Cultural Revolution to the equally rabid madness of extreme materialism. Yu Hua, award-winning author of "To Live," gives us a surreal tale of two comically mismatched stepbrothers, Baldy Li, a sex-obsessed ne'er-do-well, and the bookish, sensitive Song Gang, who vow that they will always be brothers a bond they will struggle to maintain over the years as they weather the ups and downs of rivalry in love and making and losing millions in the new China.
Both tragic and absurd by turns, "Brothers" is a fascinating vision of an extraordinary place and time.
Michael Berry is an assistant professor of contemporary Chinese cultural studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of a forthcoming collection of interviews with Chinese filmmakers and the translator of Ye Zhaoyan's Nanjing 1937: A Love Story" and Chang Ta-chun's Wild Kids: Two Novels About Growing Up."
Carlos Rojas is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Spanish Literature at Emory University and author of several books including El mundo mitico y magico de Salvador Dali (1985).
“Sensational, sweeping. . . . tremendous. . . . In recognition of this terrific literary achievement, I think that, instead of the Year of the Ox, this should be the Year of Yu Hua.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air
“Impressive . . . a family history documenting four decades of profound social and cultural transformation in China. . . . [and] an irreverent take on everything from the Cultural Revolution to the capitalist boom. . . . [A] relentlessly entertaining epic.” —The New Yorker
“Portraits of contemporary China are rarely sharper or more savage.” —Time
“[A] great literary achievement. . . . A sprawling, bawdy epic that crackles with life's joys, sorrows, and misadventures.” —The Boston Globe
“This new English translation of Brothers excellently captures its beauty and high farce.” —Time
“Waggish but merciless. . . . A consistently and terrifically funny read.” —Los Angeles Times
“A work of rare scope and grandeur. . . . [Yu Hua’s] sharply unadorned language is all his own, carrying a ripe and pungent tone. . . . This is the epic as plain-spoken brawl, one with blood on its face, a tear in the eye, and a grin on the lips. 10 out of 10 stars.” —Pop Matters
“For their translation Eileen Cheng-yin Chow and Carlos Rojas receive high marks, giving their narrator a consistent voice with palpable wit and visible verve, shortening Yu Hua’s sentences to fit English expectations but maintaining fidelity to the length and pace of his clauses, the real seat of an author’s prose style.” —Rain Taxi Review of Books
“Yu Hua’s epic novel—a bestseller in his native China—is a tale of ribaldry, farce and bloody revolution, a dramatic panorama of human vulgarity. . . . at once hyperrealist and phantasmagorical. . . . We can see a true picture of the country refracted in this funhouse mirror.” —The Washington Post
“Vigorous and racy. . . . This widely-ranging and ironic portrait of modern China evokes the very feel of the place, with its popular Korean TV soaps, Eternity bicycles, factory labor, Big White Rabbit candies, neon lights and raucous music. . . . A major achievement by any standard.” —Taipei Times