Publication Date: August 26, 2003
List Price: $15.00*
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An award-winning, internationally acclaimed Chinese bestseller, originally banned in China but recently named one of the last decade’s ten most influential books there, To Live tells the epic story of one man’s transformation from the spoiled son of a rich landlord to an honorable and kindhearted peasant.
After squandering his family’s fortune in gambling dens and brothels, the young, deeply penitent Fugui settles down to do the honest work of a farmer. Forced by the Nationalist Army to leave behind his family, he witnesses the horrors and privations of the Civil War, only to return years later to face a string of hardships brought on by the ravages of the Cultural Revolution. Left with an ox as the companion of his final years, Fugui stands as a model of flinty authenticity, buoyed by his appreciation for life in this narrative of humbling power.
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."