Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
By Dai Sijie
(Anchor, Paperback, 9781400077144, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 6, 2006
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Having enchanted readers on two continents with Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Dai Sijie now produces a rapturous and uproarious collision of East and West, a novel about the dream of love and the love of dreams. Fresh from 11 years in Paris studying Freud, bookish Mr. Muo returns to China to spread the gospel of psychoanalysis. His secret purpose is to free his college sweetheart from prison. To do so he has to get on the good side of the bloodthirsty Judge Di, and to accomplish that he must provide the judge with a virgin maiden.
This may prove difficult in a China that has embraced western sexual mores along with capitalism–especially since Muo, while indisputably a romantic, is no ladies’ man. Tender, laugh-out-loud funny, and unexpectedly wise, Mr. Muo’s Travelling Couch introduces a hero as endearingly inept as Inspector Clouseau and as valiant as Don Quixote.
Dai Sijie is a Chinese-born filmmaker and novelist who has lived and worked in France since 1984. His first novel, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, was an overnight sensation; it spent twenty-three weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.
"Fans of Dai Sijie's Balzac will adore this enchanting adventure story." —Chicago Tribune
“Always entertaining. . . . A bawdy, comic romp [that] takes our hero into all kinds of wild scrapes and adventures.” —San Francisco Chronicle
"Poignant. . . . Hilarious. . . . A fascinating book." —San Jose Mercury News