The Noodle Maker: A Novel (Paperback)
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From Mi Jian, the highly acclaimed Chinese dissident, comes a satirical novel about the absurdities of life in a post-Tiananmen China.
Two men meet for dinner each week. Over the course of one of these drunken evenings, the writer recounts the stories he would write, had he the courage: a young man buys an old kiln and opens a private crematorium, delighting in his ability to harass the corpses of police officers and Party secretaries, while swooning to banned Western music; a heartbroken actress performs a public suicide by stepping into the jaws of a wild tiger, watched nonchalantly by her ex-lover. Extraordinary characters inspire him, their lives pulled and pummeled by fate and politics, as if they are balls of dough in the hands of an all-powerful noodle maker.
Ma Jian's satirical masterpiece allows us a humorous, yet profound, glimpse of those struggling to survive under a system that dictates their every move.
“One of the most important and courageous voices in Chinese literature.” —Gao Xingjian, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature
“A superb comedian . . . this antic nihilist is hard to beat.” —Los Angeles Times
“Milan Kundera with a laugh track . . . One writer especially unafraid to flip off the Old Guard [and] still too punk to be found on Chinese bookshelves, even today.” —Nerve.com
“Brave New World territory, where national euphemisms attempt to obscure the nation's true horrors . . . Richly drawn characters . . . The Noodle Maker is a remarkable achievement.” —Time Out New York