Soft Burial (Weatherhead Books on Asia) (Hardcover)

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Soft Burial (Weatherhead Books on Asia) By Fang Fang, Michael Berry (Translator) Cover Image
By Fang Fang, Michael Berry (Translator)
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Fang Fang's Soft Burial begins with a mysterious, nameless protagonist. Decades earlier she was pulled out of a river in a state of near-death; upon regaining consciousness, she discovered that her entire memory had been erased. The narrative follows her journey through recovery as she takes a job as a housekeeper in the home of a powerful cadre, marries the doctor who saved her, and starts a family of her own. As the story unfolds, the protective cocoon of amnesia that her subconscious wove around her begins to give way, revealing glimpses of her previous life and the unspeakable trauma that she suffered.

Soft Burial is one of the most remarkable--and most controversial--recent works of Chinese literature. Part mystery, part historical fiction, and part social expos , the novel intercuts different generations, regions, and time periods. First published in 2016, Soft Burial initially received critical acclaim but soon faced a wave of denunciations and was taken off the shelves of bookstores throughout China. Fang Fang challenged the unspoken rules that govern how Chinese writers portray the past by depicting the human costs of the Land Reform Campaign in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and she was attacked for expressing sympathy toward members of the "landlord class." An intimate portrait of historical trauma and the psychological toll of repressed violence, Soft Burial is a landmark in contemporary Chinese fiction.

About the Author

Fang Fang is the pen name of Wang Fang, one of contemporary China's most celebrated writers. Her books in English include The Running Flame, also translated by Michael Berry. Fang Fang's account of the COVID-19 lockdown in her hometown, Wuhan Diary, was translated into twenty languages and garnered critical acclaim from major media outlets around the world. Michael Berry is professor of contemporary Chinese cultural studies and director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of several books, including Jia Zhangke on Jia Zhangke (2022) and Translation, Disinformation, and Wuhan Diary (2022). He is also the translator of numerous books, including Fang Fang's Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City (2020).
Product Details
ISBN: 9780231214988
ISBN-10: 0231214987
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication Date: September 17th, 2024
Pages: 488
Language: English
Series: Weatherhead Books on Asia