A sexually charged satire of the Cultural Revolution and a huge underground hit in China, where it is banned. 'Slanders Mao Zedong, the army, and is overflowing with sex & Do not distribute, pass around, comment on, excerpt from it or report on it.' Chinese Central Propaganda Bureau This political satire by one of China's most distinguished ...
A sexually charged satire of the Cultural Revolution and a huge underground hit in China, where it is banned. 'Slanders Mao Zedong, the army, and is overflowing with sex & Do not distribute, pass around, comment on, excerpt from it or report on it.' Chinese Central Propaganda Bureau This political satire by one of China's most distinguished authors has been banned in its native land for its depiction of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) during the Cultural Revolution. Set in 1967, at the peak of the Mao cult, when 'Serve the People' was one of the great man's most famous slogans, it tells the story of the bored wife of a military commander who artfully seduces a peasant soldier. When the lovers discover that the sacrilegious act of breaking a statue of Mao deliciously increases their desire, they compete to see who can destroy the most sacred icons of their Great Leader - smashing the commander's beloved Mao icons, ripping up the "Little Red Book" or defacing the Great Helmsman's epigrams. Defacing an image of Mao was punishable by death during the Cultural Revolution. Yan Lianke tramples on the most sacred taboos of the army, the revolution, sexuality and political etiquette. As a subversive critique of official corruption, leadership hypocrisy and the insanity of the Cultural Revolution, his book has a huge cult following in China.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-11-05 This spare, enigmatic novella of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution tells the story of the brief love affair between Wu Dawang, general orderly for a local division commander, and Liu Lian, the commander's bored wife. An ambitious model soldier of peasant origin, eager to move his family to the city, Wu Dawang is repeatedly instructed by his superiors that "to serve the Division Commander and his family is to Serve the People." While the commander is away in Beijing for a two-month conference, Liu Lian initiates the affair with Wu Dawang through her subversive take on that Maoist slogan: whenever a sign saying "Serve the People" is moved from its accustomed place in the household, Wu Dawang is to attend to her needs immediately. Their delirious sexual liaison culminates in an orgiastic desecration of the images and words of Chairman Mao. Yan's satire brilliantly exposes the emptiness of Maoist ideals and the fraudulent ends for which they were used, but also relates a sorrowful tale of compromised relationships and modest hopes left unfulfilled. It was banned in China in 2005 for slander and for "overflowing" depictions of sex. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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