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Before the Cultural Revolution, narrator Tadpole's feisty Aunt Gugu is revered as an obstetrician in her home township in rural China. Renowned for her sure hands and uncanny ability to calm anxious mothers, Gugu speeds around town on her bicycle to usher thousands of babies into life. When famine lifts and the population booms, Gugu becomes the unlikely yet passionate enforcer of China's new family-planning policy. She is unrelenting in her mission, invoking hatred in her wake. In her dramatic fall from deity to demon, she becomes the living incarnation of a reviled social policy violently at odds with deep-rooted cultural values. As China moves towards the millennium, a new breed of entrepreneur emerges with a perverse interpretation of the decades-old law. Tadpole finds himself again caught up in the one-child policy and its unpredictable repercussions on the human price of capital. Frog is an extraordinary and riveting mix of the real and the absurd, the comic and the tragic. It presents a searing portrait of China's recent history, in Mo Yan's unique and luminous prose. Translated from the original Chinese edition by Howard Goldblatt.
PRAISE FOR FROG 'It's an expansive, fascinating cultural-political history. It skilfully blends high farce with social commentary, domestic drama with deeper themes ...Much of the novel is funny, much is sad and moving, and Yan effortlessly moves between the two registers.' The Independent 'Harrowing, haunting, poignant ...Mo Yan proves himself a novelist of the highest calibre.' Financial Times 'There is no denying the ease and beauty of his storytelling ...this is often difficult subject matter - but never hard to read.' West Australian 'Yan's tale deftly explores the human toll of a national policy and historical forces.' Publishers Weekly 'A brutally discomfiting historical novel that weaves autobiographical details from the author's own life, China's controversial one-child policy comes under the scrutiny of Nobel laureate Mo Yan ...Heavily laced with ardent social criticism, mystical symbolism, and historical realism...[a] potent exploration of China's most personal and intrusive social control programs.' Booklist 'Frog has that wonderful sense of flipping between the mundane and the fantastic ...Both heartbreaking and absurd ...a tragicomic tale.'
Adelaide Advertiser 'Frog is unlikely to end the debate over the relationship of politics and literature in China, but it should signal the start of a greater worldwide interest in the work of a singular novelist.' FT (Life & Arts) 'Not only does Frog tell a story in the warmest and most personal of ways, it also encompasses Chinese history and politics ...His exploration of the [one-child policy] through fiction is compelling and highly recommended for those who like family and historical sagas, or the work of Amy Tan or Jhumpa Lahiri.' Readings
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Penguin Books Australia
  • Hawthorn, Australia
  • Chinese
  • 014357275X
  • 9780143572756

About Mo Yan

Mo Yan was born in 1955 in Gaomi County in Shandong province, China. He is the author of various novellas and short stories and numerous novels including Red Sorghum, The Republic of Wine, Big Breasts and Wide Hips, Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out and The Garlic Ballads. In 2012 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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