Stick Out Your Tongue

Front Cover
Vintage, 2007 - Tibet (China) - 90 pages
26 Reviews
A glittering collection of short stories set in Tibet from one of China's foremost writers -- banned in China for its language, sexuality and picture of Tibet.
A Chinese writer whose marriage has fallen apart travels to Tibet. As he wanders through the countryside, he witnesses the sky burial of a Tibetan woman who died during childbirth, shares a tent with a nomad who is walking to a sacred mountain to seek forgiveness for sleeping with his daughter, meets a silversmith who has hung the wind-dried corpse of his lover to the walls of his cave, and hears the story of a young female incarnate lama who died during a Buddhist initiation rite. In the thin air of the high plateau, the divide between fact and fiction becomes confused and the man is drawn deep into an alien culture he knew nothing about, and which haunts his dreams.
Famously banned in China in 1987, "Stick Out Your Tongue," is the book that set Ma Jian on the road to exile, and still makes it difficult for him to publish his work in China today. Written shortly after the journey to Tibet he describes so vividly in his prize-winnning travel memoir "Red Dust," it is an extraordinary collection of stories about an extraordinary place -- a picture of Tibet that is both enchanting and horrifying, violent and beautiful, perverse and seductive. Ma Jian has written a new afterword for the book that explains it's title (it is what a doctor says to an ill patient when looking for a diagnosis) how it came to be written and something about the complex relationship between China and Tibet. This is the first publication in English of an important work of Chinese literature that has had a huge influence on other writers.

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Review: Stick Out Your Tongue

User Review  - Emila Yusof - Goodreads

Of course I did not read the original version and I reckon that this version has taken out most of the vulgarity and obscenity that made it banned in 1987. The writer tells disturbing stories he ... Read full review

Review: Stick Out Your Tongue

User Review  - Danie - Goodreads

I just finished this book, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Ma Jian's writing style is clear and precise, and he does an excellent job of nesting stories within stories. With that said, these ... Read full review

About the author (2007)

Ma Jian left Beijing for Hong Kong in the early eighties because he was unable to publish his work in China. After the hand-over of Hong Kong he moved to Germany and then London, where he has lived for four years, writing and publishing his acclaimed bookRed Dust, winner of the 2002 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.


From the Hardcover edition.

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