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Translated by Carlos Rojas
‘One of China’s greatest living authors and fiercest satirists.’ Guardian
Lenin’s Kisses is a brilliant novel about modern China. Blind, deaf, and disfigured, the 197 citizens of the Village of Liven enjoy a peaceful lifestyle, spared from the government’s watchful eye. But when an unseasonal snowstorm wipes out the grain crops, a county official convinces the villagers to set up a travelling freak-show showcasing their disabilities. With the money, he intends to buy Lenin’s embalmed corpse from Russia and install it in a mausoleum in the mountains to attract tourism to the sleepy district.
Lenin’s Kisses is a rollicking tragicomedy with a cast of moving characters—a cautionary tale of the all-consuming desire for power and wealth from one of China’s most respected and celebrated writers.
Read the Guardian interview with Yan Lianke on censorship: “Chinese intellectuals haven’t taken enough responsibility. They always have an excuse, saying they don’t have a reason to talk or don’t have the environment … If they could all stand up, they would have a loud voice.”