SHOP NOW—free delivery anywhere in Australia

Member Loginmenu
Your basket is empty
The Years, Months, Days

Translated by Carlos Rojas

The Years, Months, Days is a profound and moving fable about the deep love between an old man and his blind dog trying to survive in a terrible drought—there is no food, the villagers have left, but the old man has managed to nurture a corn seed that has germinated on a mountain top. He is devoted to this seedling.

The old man weighs the rays of the sun, working out the arithmetic of starvation and survival. Finally he realises that for his plant to survive, one of them has to be fertiliser. He loses the coin toss, lies in a grave he has dug and asks the dog to bury him.

Rich on so many levels, and not without its flashes of characteristic Yan Lianke humour, this cosmic tale will bring tears to readers’ eyes. The Years, Months, Days is compulsory reading for many Chinese children—and adults. You will see why.

Read Carlos Rojas’ preface in the Sydney Review of Books

REVIEWS

Saturday Paper 
Sydney Morning Herald

Yan Lianke
About the Author

Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Henan Province, China. Text has published his novels Serve the People!, Lenin’s Kisses, Dream of Ding Village, The Four Books, The Explosion Chronicles and The Years, Months, Days. Yan Lianke won the Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize in 2013. He has also won two of China’s most prestigious literary awards:...

Read Moreright
Extent:
112pp
Format:
Paperback
Text publication date:
27 November 2017
ISBN:
9781925603125
AU Price:
$19.99
NZ Price:
$26.00
starstarstarstarstar
starstarstarstarstar
Loading Rating
Praise for Yan Lianke
andThe Years, Months, Days

‘Yan Lianke is one of the best contemporary Chinese writers.’

‘A weirdly intoxicating book that moves from passages of stark realism to the most vivid sort of nightmare fantasy…A rather sentimental parable, a tale of suffering and sacrifice, a celebration of companionship and peasant ingenuity.’

‘A master of imaginative satire. His work is animated by an affectionate loyalty to his peasant origins in the poverty-stricken province of Henan, and fierce anger over the political abuses of the regime.’

‘One of China’s eminent and most controversial novelists and satirists.’

‘Yan Lianke well deserves to be in the Pantheon of great writers. He has no equal at attacking societal issues or the great Maoist myths in order to turn them into novels so breathtakingly powerful, shot through with black, often desperate, humor.’

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}

‘A moving fable about the love between an old man and his blind dog trying to survive.’

‘Yan Lianke creates imaginary wounds in real blood…His books read like the brutal folklore history couldn’t bear to remember, and his characters feel stranded, forgotten by time…like Beckett’s most memorable characters…Desolation has rarely seemed so sensual, so insistently alive…Yan’s vulgarity is the flip side of his sensuality, and recalls Upton Sinclair’s line about aiming for his readers’ hearts and hitting them in the stomach.’

‘A pair of shape-shifting novellas…finds the Chinese master at the top of his game…Witty, sardonic, and full of rich irony…Lianke’s pair of works, while set in rural China, offer a golden opportunity to reflect on our own fraught times. His satirical eye and generous heart are finely rendered in Carlos Rojas’ superb translation. These are tales to savour.’

‘Emotionally loaded stories…It’s hard not to be moved by the running theme of self-sacrifice…[The Years, Months, Days] pays homage to the fated generation upon whose flesh and bones modern China was built.’

‘The predicament it depicts is so harrowing, yet its treatment so stark and stately with a luminous beauty that makes it unearthly, that it retains a tragicomic quality that affirms the nature of art as an intimation of truth…What a hopeful book Yan Lianke has made out of the very essence of hopelessness. What a cry for life and human dignity.’

Other editions ofThe Years, Months, Days
  • The Years, Months, Days
    ebook
    ISBN: 9781925626186
    27 November 2017
    Buy ebook