The Republic of Wine
Publication Date: November 2012
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Interspersed throughout the narrative--and Ding's faltering investigation--are letters sent to Mo Yan by one Li Yidou, a doctoral candidate in Liquor Studies and an aspiring writer. Each letter contains a story that Li would like the renowned author's help in getting published. However, Li's tales, each more fantastic and malevolent than the last, soon begin alarmingly to resemble the story of Ding's continuing travails in Liquorland. Peopled by extraordinary characters--a dwarf, a scaly demon, a troupe of plump, delectable boys raised in captivity, a cookery teacher who primes her students with monstrous recipes--Mo Yan's revolutionary tour de force reaffirms his reputation as a writer of world standing. Wild, bawdy, politically explosive, and subversive, "The Republic of Wine" is both mesmerizing and exhilarating, proving that no repressive regime can stifle true creative imagination.
In awarding him the Nobel Prize the Swedish Academy said: Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition.
The team of HOWARD GOLDBLATT and SYLVIA LI-CHUN LIN have translated the work of virtually all the major Chinese novelists of the post-Mao era, and many from Taiwan and Hong Kong, in all more than 50 books. Just prior to and immediately following the announcement of the 2012 Nobel Prize, Goldblatt published two novels by the laureate Mo Yan: POW! and Sandalwood Death. Together they have received three translation awards from the NEA, and a number of prizes. They live in Boulder, Colorado.