Seven Kinds of Mushrooms: A Novel of the Cultural Revolution


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SKU Order No. 1059 Category Publisher:


Seven Kinds of Mushrooms: A Novel of the Cultural Revolution

Author: Zhang Wei

Translator: Terence Russell

Order No. 1059

ISBN-13: 9781931907552

ISBN-10: 1931907552

Binding: Paperback

Publisher: Homa & Sekey Books

Pub Year: 2009

Pages: 214

Language: English

Size: 5.5 x 8.5

Price: $16.95

20% off: $13.56

A satirical deconstruction of high Maoist role models and rhetoric, Seven Kinds of Mushrooms is set in a remote forestry station annex in Shandong province during the Cultural Revolution era in China. Mushrooms weaves a vivid story of political intrigue, murder, romance and lust. Drawing on the repertories of Magic Realism and surrealism, the author masterfully turns Maoist stereotypes on their head, presenting us with an array of compromised, flawed heroes and pathetic, inept villains.

The main protagonist, Old Ding, is an illiterate peasant who sees himself as the hero in a revolutionary morality play of his own making. He is the consummate peasant storyteller: ignorant of the world outside, but possessed of fantastic imagination and a knack for creating engaging, suspenseful tales. The author is at his sardonic, perspicacious best in this novel that poses universal questions about the use and abuse of language in the pursuit of power.

Born in Shandong province in the mid-1950s, Zhang Wei is one of the most prolific writers in Mainland China today. He has won over thirty national literary prizes, including some of the most prestigious in China. Although he has been compared to such Western writers as William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Zhang is unique for the breadth and inclusiveness of his literary and intellectual reach. A liberal and original thinker, as well as an idealistic one, he focuses his concern on culture, especially on the issue of Chinese cultural identity in the post-revolutionary era.

Terence Russell is Associate Professor of Chinese at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. He has published numerous articles on both Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese writers, especially relating to issues of cultural identity. Dr. Russell also has a strong interest in translation and translation theory. His full-length translation of Zhang Wei’s September’s Fable appeared in 2007.

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs