Author(s): Mo Yan
In this multifaceted tour de force, Mo Yan flexes his skills both as an astute observer of society and history and as a leading practitioner of experimental and imaginative fiction. Ximen Nao, a wealthy landowner, loses his farm and his life as angry villagers redistribute the land after the establishment of the People's Republic of China. In Lord Yama's underworld, Ximen refuses to admit any wrongdoing even under torture. Exasperated, Yama returns him to his farm as a donkey, the first of many reincarnations. Over the next five decades, Ximen lives through the absurdities and excesses of Chinese history as a donkey, ox, pig, dog, monkey and finally an infant with an unusually large head.
Mo Yan, born in 1955, in China's northeastern Shandong province, is the author of Frog and the noivella Radish, as well as numerous other novels and short stories. He is the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature.