Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh by Mo Yan

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Synopsis

In these twelve stories, we see the astonishing range of Mo Yan's vision - which critics reviewing The Republic of Wine have compared to that of Tolstoy. The stories range from the tragic to the comic, though Mo Yan's humor is always tinged with a shade of black. They embody, too, the author's deep and abiding love of his fellow man, equaled only by his intense disdain of bureaucracy and repression. His fiction is never didactic. Satire, fantasy, the supernatural, mystery: all are present in this remarkable, and intensely enjoyable, volume.
 

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 January 5, 2012 by Arcade Publishing. 224 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh

Kirkus Reviews

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Mo Yan is in fact least effective when most conventional, as in tales depicting an adolescent “Love Story” occurring in a commune and an old man’s bitter memory of his failure to grasp the love offered him years earlier (“Shen Garden”).

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The New York Times

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In the preface to ''Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh,'' a compact collection of stories selected by his gifted longtime translator Howard Goldblatt, Mo Yan, the author of ''Red Sorghum,'' reflects on his difficult childhood and recalls feasting with his classmates on a load of coal dumped ou...

Sep 09 2001 | Read Full Review of Shifu, You'll Do Anything for...

Publishers Weekly

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Another entry, "Man and Beast," a leftover piece from Mo's Red Sorghum saga, evokes some of the horror of Japan's wartime treatment of China, while "The Cure" demonstrates the hatred and desperation China inflicted upon itself during the Cultural Revolution.

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