cover of book

by Mo Yan
Seagull Books, 2010
eISBN: 978-0-85742-161-6 | Paper: 978-0-85742-160-9 | Cloth: 978-1-906497-48-4
Library of Congress Classification PL2886.O1684B5313 2012


In Change, Mo Yan, the 2012 Nobel Laureate in Literature, personalizes the political and social changes in his country over the past few decades in this novella disguised as autobiography—or vice-versa. Unlike most historical narratives from China, which are pegged to political events, Change is a representative of “people’s history,” a bottom-up rather than top-down view of a country in flux. By moving back and forth in time and focusing on small events and everyday people, Mo Yan breathes life into history by describing the effects of larger-than-life events on the average citizen.

“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 García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition.”— Nobel Committee for Literature

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