Lenin's Kisses

Front Cover
Chatto & Windus, Feb 7, 2013 - Blind - 512 pages
2 Reviews

Deep within the Balou mountains lies a small rural town populated by disabled people. Blind, deaf and disfigured, the 197 citizens of the Village of Liven have until now enjoyed a peaceful, mutually supportive life out of sight and mind of the government. But when an unseasonal snowstorm wipes out that year's crops, a county official dreams up a scheme that will raise money for the district and boost his career.

He convinces the villagers to set up a travelling freak-show, to include Blind Tonghua's Acute Listening Act, Guess the Age of the Old Man, Deafman Ma's Firecrackers-on-the-Ear and One-Eye's Needle Threading. With the money, he intends to buy Lenin's embalmed corpse from an ailing Russia and install it in a splendid mausoleum in the mountains to attract tourism to this sleepy district. However, as we all know, even the best intentions can go awry.

Provocative and funny, Lenin's Kisses melds fable, history and satire into a fantastical cautionary tale about contemporary China's all-consuming desire for power and wealth.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookfest - LibraryThing

This is a very unusual book. Imagine the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with a touch of Nabokov and some Jon Stewart's cynical social humor, set in a remote town in modern day China. The ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Henan Province, China. He is the author of numerous novels and short-story collections, including Serve the People!, Dream of Ding Village and Lenin's Kisses. He is the winner of an array of literary awards, including China's Lao She, Lu Xun and Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize. In 2014 was awarded the prestigious Franz Kafka Book Prize, whose previous winners include Vaclav Havel, John Banville, Harold Pinter, Haruki Murakami and Philip Roth. He has also been shorlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He currently lives and writes in Beijing.

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