China in Ten Words, by Yu Hua (review by Perry Link)
With the publication of China in Ten Words, the puzzle over Yu Hua’s surrealism comes largely undone. Here, in ten very realist chapters, which he calls fiction but in fact is memoir, self-analysis, and cultural analysis of China, Yu shows how childhood trauma has shaped his worldview and how the excesses of late Maoism are still very much at work in the undergirding of Chinese life today. It no longer seems plausible to guess that his early inspirations came from foreign writers, or sprang from mere self-promotion. Surrealism then, as realism now, was just his way of writing what shock feels like.
attached to: Yu Hua