Life and Death are Wearing Me Out by Mo Yan
A Novel

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Synopsis

Today’s most revered, feared, and controversial Chinese novelist offers a tour de force in which the real, the absurd, the comical, and the tragic are blended into a fascinating read. The hero—or antihero—of Mo Yan’s new novel is Ximen Nao, a landowner known for his benevolence to his peasants. His story is a deliriously unique journey and absolutely riveting tale that reveals the author’s love of a homeland beset by ills inevitable, political, and traditional.
 

About Mo Yan

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Mo Yan, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in 1955 in North Gaomi Township in Shandong Province, an impoverished rural area that is the setting for much of his fiction. Despite the audacity of his writing, he has won virtually every national literary prize, including China’s Annual Writer’s Prize, its most prestigious award. He is the author of The Garlic Ballads, The Republic of Wine; Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh; Big Breasts and Wide Hips, and Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out, all published by Arcade, as well as Red Sorghum and Pow!. Mo Yan and his family live in Beijing. Howard Goldblatt taught modern Chinese literature and culture for more than a quarter of a century. He is the foremost translator of modern and contemporary Chinese literature in the West and a former Guggenheim Fellow.
 
Published December 3, 2011 by Arcade Publishing. 552 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Life and Death are Wearing Me Out

Kirkus Reviews

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All these Naos relive the past as well as interact with his nearest and dearest (wife, concubines, children), his former handyman Lan Lian and such disturbing avatars of Mao’s new society as militia commander and bean counter Huang Tong and Nao’s upwardly mobile, amoral son Ximen Jinlong.

Feb 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Life and Death are Wearing Me...

The New York Times

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His limitations as a writer and a person are consistently mocked, and we are regularly reminded by Mo Yan the author that the character of Mo Yan represented in the novel is not to be trusted.

May 04 2008 | Read Full Review of Life and Death are Wearing Me...

The Washington Post

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Mar 23 2015 | Read Full Review of Life and Death are Wearing Me...

Historical Novel Society

When Ximen Nao arrives in Hell, indignant at his unjust killing, he causes such a disturbance that Lord Yama sends him back to the land of the living as a lowly donkey—and after that an ox, a pig, a dog, and a monkey—before finally allowing him rebirth as a big-headed baby boy.

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Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Life and Death are Wearing Me...

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