“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Economist Reviews Yan Lianke's Day the Sun Died


Mr Yan wrote “The Day the Sun Died” soon after China’s leader Xi Jinping had sloganised the idea of the “Chinese Dream”. But his satirical danse macabre has more than one target. Gaotian’s night of chaos and carnage recalls both the Cultural Revolution and some dystopian “Black Friday” shopping spree. Fanciful nostalgia, as well as crass materialism, drives the slaughter. The “dreamwalking” town council tries to revive the “Taiping Heavenly Kingdom”, a millenarian cult that convulsed 19th-century China. This pantomime ends in more bloodshed.

attached to: Ri Xi


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