Brothers

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9780330452755: Brothers

From the acclaimed -- and controversial -- Chinese novelist, Brothers is a big-spirited comedy of society running amok in modern China. When Baldy Li's mother marries Song Gang's father their lives become entangled. Then when both their parents die, Song Gang swears never to forsake his younger brother. In the event, though, both are undone by their love for one woman. Sprawling, rambunctious, energetic and brutal, Brothers is a dizzying rollercoaster ride through life in a newly capitalist world. 'Yu Hua has long been considered one of China's most important novelists' Nell Freudenberger 'This is modern China coming to terms with itself in a mixture of gore, laughter and self-mockery' Independent 'Brothers gives us contemporary China with a picaresque panache that Western critics have been quick to call Rabelaisian, but which is actually Chinese all the way' Financial Times 'Yu Hua effortlessly moves from the grotesque to the tragic and from the ironic to the dramatic ...There is Hemingway in Yu Hua, certainly, but also Stendhal' Le Monde

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About the Author:

Yu Hua was born in 1960 in Zhejiang, China. He finished high school during the Cultural Revolution and worked as a dentist for five years before beginning to write in 1983. He's since published four novels, six story and three essay collections, and his work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean. In 2002, he became the first Chinese writer to win the prestigious James Joyce Foundation Award, and two of his novels -- To Live and Chronicles of a Blood Merchant -- were listed in the top ten most influential Chinese books of the last decade. Yu Hua now lives in Beijing.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

CHAPTER 1

Baldy li, our Liu Town’s premier tycoon, had a fantastic plan of spending twenty million U.S. dollars to purchase a ride on a Russian Federation space shuttle for a tour of outer space. Perched atop his famously gold-plated toilet seat, he would close his eyes and imagine himself already floating in orbit, surrounded by the unfathomably frigid depths of space. He would look down at the glorious planet stretched out beneath him, only to choke up on realizing that he had no family left down on Earth.

Baldy Li used to have a brother named Song Gang, who was a year older and a whole head taller and with whom he shared everything. Loyal, stubborn Song Gang had died three years earlier, reduced to a pile of ashes. When Baldy Li remembered the small wooden urn containing his brother’s remains, he had a million mixed emotions. The ashes from even a sapling, he thought, would outweigh those from Song Gang’s bones.

Back when Baldy Li’s mother was still alive, she always liked to speakto him about Song Gang as being a chip off the old block. She would emphasize how honest and kind he was, just like his father, and remark that father and son were like two melons from the same vine. When she talked about Baldy Li, she didn’t say this sort of thing but would emphatically shake her head. She said that Baldy Li and his father were completely different sorts of people, on completely different paths. It was not until Baldy Li’s fourteenth year, when he was nabbed for peeping at five women’s bottoms in a public pit toilet, that his mother drastically reversed her earlier opinion of her son. Only then did she finally understand that Baldy Li and his father were in fact two melons from the same vine after all. Baldy Li remembered clearly how his mother had averted her eyes and turned away from him, muttering bitterly as she wiped away her tears, “A chip off the old block.”

Baldy Li had never met his birth father, since on the day he was born his father left this earth in a fit of stink. His mother told him that his father had drowned, but Baldy Li asked, “How? Did he drown in the stream, in the pond, or in a well?” His mother didn’t respond. It was only later, after Baldy Li had been caught peeping and had become stinkingly notorious throughout Liu Town—only then did he learn that he really was another rotten melon off the same damn vine as his father. And it was only then that he learned that his father had also been peeping at women’s butts in a latrine when he accidentally fell into the cesspool and drowned. Everyone in Liu Town—men and women, young and old—laughed when they heard about Baldy Li and couldn’t stop repeating, “A chip off the old block.” As sure as a tree grows leaves, if you were from Liu Town, you would have the phrase on your lips; even toddlers who had just learned to speak were gurgling it. People pointed at Baldy Li, whispering to each other and covering their mouths and snickering, but Baldy Li would maintain an innocent expression as he continued on his way. Inside, however, he would be chuckling because now—at that time he was almost fifteen—he finally knew what it was to be a man.

Nowadays the world is filled with women’s bare butts shaking hither and thither, on television and in the movies, on VCRs and DVDs, i advertisements and magazines, on the sides of ballpoint pens and cigarette lighters. These include all sorts of butts: imported butts, domestic butts; white, yellow, black, and brown; big, small, fat, and thin; smooth and coarse, young and old, fake and real—every shape and size in a bedazzling variety. Nowadays women’s bare butts aren’t worth much, since they can be found virtually everywhere. But back then things were different. It used to be that women’s bottoms were considered a rare and precious commodity that you couldn’t trade for gold or silver or pearls. To see one, you had to go peeping in the public toilet—which is why you had a little hoodlum like Baldy Li being caught in the act, and a big hoodlum like his father losing his life for the sake of a glimpse.

Public toilets back then were different from today. Nowadays you wouldn’t be able to spy on a woman’s butt in a toilet even if you had a periscope, but back then there was only a flimsy partition between the men’s and women’s sections, below which there was a shared cesspool. On the other side of the partition the sounds of women peeing and shitting seemed disconcertingly close. So instead of squatting down where you should, you could poke your head under the partition, suspending yourself above the muck below by tightly gripping the boards with your hands and your legs. With the nauseating stench bringing tears to your eyes and maggots crawling all around, you could bend over like a competitive swimmer at the starting block about to dive into the pool, and the deeper you bent over, the more butt you would be able to see.

That time Baldy Li snared five butts with a single glance: a puny one, a fat one, two bony ones, and a just-right one, all lined up in a neat row, like slabs of meat in a butcher shop. The fat butt was like a fresh rump of pork, the two bony ones were like beef jerky, while the puny butt wasn’t even worth mentioning. The butt that Baldy Li fancied was the just-right one, which lay directly in his line of sight. It was the roundest of the five, so round it seemed to curl up, with taut skin revealing the faint outlines of a tailbone. His heart pounding, he wanted to glimpse the pubic area on the other side of the tailbone, so he continued to lean down, his head burrowing deeper under the partition. But just as he was about to catch a glimpse of her pubic region, he was suddenly nabbed.

A man named Victory Zhao, one of the two Men of Talent in Liu Town, happened to enter the latrine at that very moment. He spotted someone’s head and torso burrowing under the partition and immediately understood what was going on. He therefore grabbed Baldy Li by the scruff of his neck, plucking him up as one would a carrot. At that time Victory Zhao was in his twenties and had published a four-line poem in our provincial culture center’s mimeographed magazine, thereby earning himself the moniker Poet Zhao. After seizing Baldy Li, Zhao flushed bright red. He dragged the fourteen-year-old outside and started lecturing him nonstop, without, however, failing to be poetic: “So, rather than gazing at the glittering sea of sprouted greens in the fields or the fishes cavorting in the lake or the beautiful tufts of clouds in the blue sky, you choose instead to go snooping around in the toilet. . . .”

Poet Zhao went on in this vein for more than ten minutes, and yet there was still no movement from the women’s side of the latrine. Eventually Zhao became anxious, ran to the door, and yelled for the women to come out. Forgetting that he was an elegant man of letters, he shouted rather crudely, “Stop your pissing and shitting. You’ve been spied upon, and you don’t even realize it. Get your butts out here.”

The owners of the five butts finally dashed out, shrieking and weeping. The weeper was the puny butt not worth mentioning. A little girl eleven or twelve years old, she covered her face with her hands and was crying so hard she trembled, as if Baldy Li hadn’t peeped at her but, rather, had raped her. Baldy Li, still standing there in Poet Zhao’s grip, watched the weeping little butt and thought, What’s all this crying over your underdeveloped little butt? I only took a look because there wasn’t much else I could do.

A pretty seventeen-year-old was the last to emerge. Blushing furiously, she took a quick look at Baldy Li and hurried away. Poet Zhao cried out for her not to leave, to come back and demand justice. Instead, she simply hurried away even faster. Baldy Li watched the swaying of her rear end as she walked, and knew that the butt so round it curled up had to be hers.

Once the round butt disappeared into the distance and the weeping little butt also left, one of the bony butts started screeching at Baldy Li,
spraying his face with spittle. Then she wiped her mouth and walked off as well. Baldy Li watched her walk away and noticed that her butt
was so flat that, now that she had her pants on, you couldn’t even make it out.

The remaining three—an animated Poet Zhao, a pork-rump butt, and the other jerky-flat butt—then grabbed Baldy Li and hauled him to the police station. They marched him through the little town of less than fifty thousand, and along the way the town’s other Man of Talent, Success Liu, joined their ranks. Like Poet Zhao, Success Liu was in his twenties and had had something published in the culture center’s magazine. His publication was a story, its words crammed onto two pages. Compared with Zhao’s four lines of verse, Success Liu’s two pages were far more impressive, thereby earning him the nickname Writer Liu. Liu didn’t lose out to Poet Zhao in terms of monikers, and he certainly couldn’t lose out to him in other areas either. Writer Liu was on his way to buy rice when he saw Poet Zhao strutting toward him with a captive Baldy Li, and Liu immediately decided that he couldn’t let Poet Zhao have all the glory to himself. Writer Liu hollered to Poet Zhao as he approached, “I’m here to help you!”

Poet Zhao and Writer Liu were close writing comrades, and Writer Liu had once searched high and low for the perfect encomia for Poet
Zhao’s four lines of poetry. Poet Zhao of course had responded in kind and found even more flowery praise for Writer Liu’s two pages of text. Poet Zhao was originally walking behind Baldy Li, with the miscreant in his grip, but now that Writer Liu hustled up to them, Poet Zhao shifted to the left and offered Writer Liu the position to the right. Liu Town...

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Yu Hua
Editore: Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom (2010)
ISBN 10: 0330452754 ISBN 13: 9780330452755
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Descrizione libro Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Main Market Ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the acclaimed -- and controversial -- Chinese novelist, Brothers is a big-spirited comedy of society running amok in modern China. When Baldy Li s mother marries Song Gang s father their lives become entangled. Then when both their parents die, Song Gang swears never to forsake his younger brother. In the event, though, both are undone by their love for one woman. Sprawling, rambunctious, energetic and brutal, Brothers is a dizzying rollercoaster ride through life in a newly capitalist world. Yu Hua has long been considered one of China s most important novelists Nell Freudenberger This is modern China coming to terms with itself in a mixture of gore, laughter and self-mockery Independent Brothers gives us contemporary China with a picaresque panache that Western critics have been quick to call Rabelaisian, but which is actually Chinese all the way Financial Times Yu Hua effortlessly moves from the grotesque to the tragic and from the ironic to the dramatic .There is Hemingway in Yu Hua, certainly, but also Stendhal Le Monde. Codice libro della libreria AA79780330452755

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Descrizione libro Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Main Market Ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the acclaimed -- and controversial -- Chinese novelist, Brothers is a big-spirited comedy of society running amok in modern China. When Baldy Li s mother marries Song Gang s father their lives become entangled. Then when both their parents die, Song Gang swears never to forsake his younger brother. In the event, though, both are undone by their love for one woman. Sprawling, rambunctious, energetic and brutal, Brothers is a dizzying rollercoaster ride through life in a newly capitalist world. Yu Hua has long been considered one of China s most important novelists Nell Freudenberger This is modern China coming to terms with itself in a mixture of gore, laughter and self-mockery Independent Brothers gives us contemporary China with a picaresque panache that Western critics have been quick to call Rabelaisian, but which is actually Chinese all the way Financial Times Yu Hua effortlessly moves from the grotesque to the tragic and from the ironic to the dramatic .There is Hemingway in Yu Hua, certainly, but also Stendhal Le Monde. Codice libro della libreria AA79780330452755

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Descrizione libro Pan Macmillan. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Brothers, Yu Hua, From the acclaimed -- and controversial -- Chinese novelist, Brothers is a big-spirited comedy of society running amok in modern China. When Baldy Li's mother marries Song Gang's father their lives become entangled. Then when both their parents die, Song Gang swears never to forsake his younger brother. In the event, though, both are undone by their love for one woman. Sprawling, rambunctious, energetic and brutal, Brothers is a dizzying rollercoaster ride through life in a newly capitalist world. 'Yu Hua has long been considered one of China's most important novelists' Nell Freudenberger 'This is modern China coming to terms with itself in a mixture of gore, laughter and self-mockery' Independent 'Brothers gives us contemporary China with a picaresque panache that Western critics have been quick to call Rabelaisian, but which is actually Chinese all the way' Financial Times 'Yu Hua effortlessly moves from the grotesque to the tragic and from the ironic to the dramatic .There is Hemingway in Yu Hua, certainly, but also Stendhal' Le Monde. Codice libro della libreria B9780330452755

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Descrizione libro Pan Macmillan, 2010. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria FV-9780330452755

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Descrizione libro PICADOR UK, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: NEUF. A controversial bestseller from one of China's most influential novelists. Two step-brothers vow to protect each other when their parents die, but they are both undone by their love for one woman. 'This is modern China coming to terms with itself in a mixture of gore, laughter and self-mockery' "Independent" - Nombre de page(s) : 641 - Poids : 464g - Langue : eng - Genre : Anglais Ouvrages de littérature. Codice libro della libreria N9780330452755

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