A superb collection of eight darkly humorous, surreal stories from Mo Yan, the most critically acclaimed Chinese writer of his generation.
'If I were to choose a Nobel laureate, it would be Mo Yan'
Kenzaburo Oe, 1994 Nobel Laureate for Literature
Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh is a collection of eight compelling short stories written over the past twenty years: surrealistic political fables, ghost stories, tales of failed and perverse love, and stories about the destructive effects of superstition and ignorance.
These stories capture the current concerns of the Chinese: lack of income, famine, and the devastating effects of the one-child policy. One particular get-rich-quick scheme involves an unemployed man who decides to convert an abandoned bus into a venue for private trysts which will enable him to charge lovers by the hour.
'Hailed as a Chinese William Faulkner, and a magic realist in the style of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mo Yan writes fiction that is an extraordinary blend of fantasy, lyrical descriptions of the Chinese countryside, satirical commentary on government bureaucracy, black (even slapstick) humour, and touches of the supernatural...For readers who are unfamiliar with the work of this Chinese author, these eight stories make a good place to start'
'Mo Yan's visual imagination is overwhelming, Goldblatt's translation acrobatic'
Julia Bell, Financial Times
Mo Yan was born to a peasant family in Shandong, China in 1955. In 1976 he joined the army and it was here that he was educated, first as a librarian, and later at the Army Arts and Literature College. He is still a staff officer in the People's Liberation Army. Despite the audacity of his writing, he has won virtually every national literary prize.