Can Xue’s ambitious, dreamlike novel examines the nebulous, perplexing and unfathomable nature of love of China in the 21st century. Translated by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen.
A group of women inhabit a world of constant surveillance, where informants lurk in the flowerbeds. Conspiracies abound in a community that normalises paranoia. Each life is circumscribed by buried secrets and transcendent delusions. Some try to flee - to a mysterious gambling bordello, or an ancestral home that can only be reached through muddy caves and tunnels. Others seek out the refuge of Nest County, where traditional herbal medicines can reshape or psychologically transport the self.
About the AuthorCan Xue is the pseudonym of the renowned avant‑garde author Deng Xiaohua.