透明的红萝卜 (lit. Transparent Red Radish)
Novella by Mo Yan.
Translated by Howard Goldblatt, May, 2015
During China's collectivist era in the late 1950s, a rural work team responsible for building an important floodgate receives a strange new recruit: Hei-hai, a skinny, silent and almost feral boy. Assigned to assist the blacksmith at the worksite forge, Hei-hai proves superhumanly indifferent to pain or suffering and yet, eerily sensitive to the natural world. As the worksite becomes a backdrop to jealously and strife, Hei-hai's eyes remain fixed on a world that only he can see, searching for wonders that only he understands. One day, he finds all that he has been seeking embodied in the most mundane and unexpected way: a radish.