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Translated by Carlos Rojas
One dusk in early June, in a town deep in the Balou mountains, fourteen-year-old Li Niannian notices something strange about his town. Instead of settling down for the night, the residents start appearing in the streets and fields. There are people everywhere.
Li Niannian watches, mystified. But then he realises the people are dreamwalking, carrying on with their daily business as if the sun hadn’t gone down. And before too long, as more and more people succumb, in the black of night all hell breaks loose.
Set over the course of one night, The Day the Sun Died sets chaos and darkness against the sunny optimism of the ‘Chinese dream’ promoted by President Xi Jinping. We are thrown into the middle of an increasingly strange and troubling waking nightmare as Li Niannian and his father struggle to save the town, and persuade the sun to rise again.
‘I can think of few better novelists than Yan, with his superlative gifts for storytelling and penetrating eye for truth’
Yan Lianke is one of the best contemporary Chinese writers.’
‘A master of imaginative satire. His work is animated by an affectionate loyalty to his peasantorigins in the poverty-stricken province of Henan, and fierce anger over the political abuses ofthe regime.’
‘Yan Lianke well deserves to be in the Pantheon of great writers. He has no equal at attackingsocietal issues or the great Maoist myths in order to turn them into novels so breathtakinglypowerful, shot through with black, often desperate, humor.’