Yu Hua

At the beginning of the summer I read an english translation of his book To Live(活着)and recently I just finished his pseudo autobiographical book China in 10 Words. I feel after finishing these books that I should comment on my experience.
      To Live is perhaps one of the best books I have read in a while. It covers the life of a Chinese man named Fu Gui pre, during, and post-cultural revolution China. Although the language is simple and does not carry the sophistication of an author like Virginia Woolf, the plot of the book is justification to read. It is a short read of around 200 pages so it is not nearly as onerous of an experience as any of the required summer reading books. Anybody who is remotely interested in China’s history, politics, or culture should definitely read this book.

China in 10 Words was a very different experience. The language is much more complicated and it is not a novel. It is more of a series of political observations and comments wrapped around a series of anecdotal stories. The text is much more incoherent, but was still a captive read. I will probably write a more comprehensive review later.


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