Golden Age

A Novel

Category:
ISBN: 9781662601224

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Published by (2022-07-26)

Like Gary Shteyngart or Michel Houellebecq, Wang Xiaobo is a Chinese literary icon whose satire forces us to reconsider the ironies of history.

    “Apparently, there was a rumour that Chen Qingyang and I were having an affair. She wanted me to prove our innocence. I said, to prove our innocence, we must prove one of the following:
        1. Chen Qingyang is a virgin;
        2. I was born without a penis.
Both of these propositions were hard to prove, therefore, we couldn’t prove our innocence. Infact, I was leaning more toward proving that we weren’t innocent.”
 
    And so begins Wang Er’s story of his long affair with Chen Qinyang. Wang Er, a 21-year-old ox herder, is shamed by the local authorities and forced to write a confession for his crimes but instead, takes it upon himself to write a modernist literary tract. Later, as a lecturer at a chaotic, newly built university, Wang Er navigates the bureaucratic maze of 1980’s China, boldly writing about the Cultural Revolution’s impact on his life and those around him. Finally, alone and humbled, Wang Er must come to terms with the banality of his own existence.
 
    But what makes this novel both hilarious and important is Xiaobo’s use of the awkwardness of sex as a metaphor for all that occured during the Cultural Revolution. This achievement was revolutionary in China and places Golden Age in the great pantheon of novels that argue against governmental control.
 
    A leading icon of his generation, Wang Xiaobo’s cerebral and sarcastic narrative is a reflection on the failures of individuals and the enormous political, social, and personal changes in 20thcentury China.

Book Details

Format: eBook
Price: 15.99 USD / 35 CAD
Published: 2022-07-26
ISBN: 9781662601224
Imprint:
Page Count: 288
Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4

"Golden Age, long admired in many circles, may prove a revelation to readers outside China. Wang Xiaobo steeped himself in the literatures of East and West, and the blending of influences – including Proust and Twain – makes for a searingly funny and fearless narration full of brilliant headlong riffs on sex, time, history and the terrifying absurdities of the Cultural Revolution. Bawdy, earthy, cerebral, outrageous, bleakly hilarious and off-handedly brave, this novel is like nothing else."
— Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask and The Subject Steve

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