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Home Books 10 Chinese bestsellers to read in one breath

10 Chinese bestsellers to read in one breath



  •  Chinese literature originated in the distant era of the Shang Dynasty (1600 – 1027 BC) and has changed several times throughout its development. Modern Chinese literature, of course, carries a different message than the ancient one. It is interesting that the myths and legends of China, which were passed down from generation to generation, served as the beginning of the origin of ancient literature. Such works gave impetus to the cultural development of China, and over time, people could already enjoy reading certain literary genres.

  •  In this collection, book lovers will get acquainted with 10 Chinese bestsellers of different genres, which you will definitely not be bored with. The books included in the list are read in one breath and are addictive from the first lines. Intriguing, don't you agree? And quite justified!

10. "Sisters from the North"

cwby2lkgNumber of pages: 370
Author: Sheng Kei
Genre: modern foreign literature

  •  The theme of a difficult fate is popular both in cinema and literature. A happy ending and a logical denouement are what we savor every frame, every new line for... No wonder that Sheng Kei's novel "Sisters from the North" deserved favorable reviews from critics, because the writer has an original style of writing and a non-standard view of labor migration.

  •  2 girls, Qian Xiaohong and Li Sijiang, move to a big city from a village in Hunan, wanting to earn good money. Wandering among the lights of a big city, the girls dream a lot and believe that everything will work out for them in the best way. When it finally seems to them that life has improved, tragedies soon occur. But the girls do not give up, a ray of hope helps them survive in this harsh world.

9. "Metamorphoses, or the Game of Folding Pictures"

xbvwad0pNumber of pages: 471
Author: Wang Meng
Genre: modern prose

  •  Wang Meng's work is the most striking example in Chinese literature of an active search for a new style, imagery, and compositional techniques. The writer deftly knows how to present ordinary things to the reader through his prose in a non-standard perspective, focusing on the problems of social life. Wang Meng reveals in the novel the inner world and destinies of people of his generation.

  •  Even if you know nothing about the political campaigns that flourished in China under Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976), and you are not eager to study this period of history, "Metamorphosis, or the Folding Picture Game" will still "drag" you. This story is about the narcissistic bore Ni Wucheng, against whom his family wages a permanent war. There is no mutual understanding in the family, but this problem is so easy to solve ... It is enough to learn how to communicate and hear each other.

8. "Brothers"

uafxxcrrNumber of pages: 576
Author: Yu Hua
Genre: novel

  •  "Brothers" is a very strange and ambiguous novel, in the process of reading you will understand why. It is unlikely that in all world literature there is such an amazing combination of unreasonable grotesque, acute social prose, poisonous satire and cruel tragedy. Yu Hua in his novel skillfully combines incompatible things, does not use the rule “know a sense of proportion in everything” ... Reading it is both easy and difficult, but how interesting!

  •  This work would never have become a bestseller, but Yu Hua was able to satisfy Chinese readers. In a satirical style, the writer describes modern Chinese society, where new values include high status, money, and lust. Trouble also comes to a small town near Shanghai: in Luzhen, Komsomol members become brothel holders, fighters of the ideological front become PR people, and outcasts become successful oligarchs...

7. "Red Kaoliang"

uaxf1tuhNumber of pages:480
Author: Yan Mo
Genre: novel

  •  "Red Kaoliang" is the most famous work of Nobel Prize winner (2012) Yan Mo. Critics agree that the writer received the award thanks to this novel, included in the list of the hundred best Chinese novels of the 1988th century. In XNUMX, Red Kaoliang had its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, based on Mo Yan's novel.

  •  Holding the book "Red Kaoliang" in your hands is a great joy. It differs from current prose in the absence of the author's introspection, savoring childhood psychotrauma, which is characteristic of most authors of modern prose. The work of Mo Yan is something completely different, a different world. There is Chinese wisdom in the lines, which allows, in the presence of an abundance of terrible situations, to meditatively move away from the world and clearly see the abomination of violence in all its manifestations...

6. "One word is worth a thousand"

vvu3h01zNumber of pages: 560
Author: Liu Zhenyun
Genre: modern foreign literature

  •  To date, One Word Is Worth a Thousand is Liu Zhenyun's best-known work, winning the 2011 Mao Dun Literary Prize, China's top literary award. It is noteworthy that in 2017 the author presented this book to the Russian reader at the Chinese Cultural Center in Moscow. Liu Zhenyun's daughter made a film in 2016 based on her father's novel.

  •  The novel is both satirical and harsh at the same time, because life itself mocks the characters, pushing them in search of illusory happiness ... Liu Zhenyun managed to recreate immense Chinese loneliness between the lines: on sharp turns in life, in a vast world among different people, a person has no one to just talk heart to heart with and even God doesn't seem to hear him...

5. "Tears are gold"

3boudddNumber of pages: 437
Author: He Jianming
Genre: non-fiction

  •  The documentary novel "Tears Are Gold" will take you to the weekdays of poor Chinese students. The works of the documentary genre, as a rule, are based on non-fictional characters and stories that push the reader to think and comprehend reality. At the epicenter of the plot are poor students, an increase in property inequality, which leads to social tension.

  •  Interesting fact! Documentary prose became one of the main genres of Chinese literature in the 80s and 90s. Until the end of the 80s, the theme of "thoughts about what happened" dominated, in which people's behavior in critical situations was subjected to a thorough analysis, and attempts were made to comprehend the manipulation, cruelty and cowardice during the "cultural revolution" (1966-1976).

4. "How Xu Sanguan sold blood"

hvqogo20Number of pages: 224
Author: Yu Hua
Genre: modern prose

  •  What will you do so that your family does not starve ... The hero of the novel sold his blood, for example. The novel "How Xu Sangyuan sold blood" will introduce you to a man from the working class, as they say, from the very bottom. Having opened the book, you can experience bewilderment (probably, this will happen to you) because the main characters communicate with each other too primitively, but they are all from the working class, what did we want?

  •  The main characters have the simplest language and the most ordinary life. You will learn how Xu donated blood in his youth and received 35 yuan for this (which is equal to 6 months of work in the field). With the money he received, he taught his son, bought furniture, gifts for his wife's parents, and even celebrated his wedding! Reading the book, you will feel the main character with all your heart and know the depth of his personality, which is revealed more and more with each page you read.

3. "Notes about the Cat City"

bdthjbqeNumber of pages: 120
Author: Lao She
Genre: science fiction, dystopia

  •  Having read this book once, you will not be able to forget it... Let's check? The work is considered one of the most popular writer Lao She, translated into Russian, and allows you to experience a new experience. The novel was first published in 1932. The work, somewhat close in spirit to Saltykov-Shchedrin's (1826-1889) History of a City, is a mixture of cruel dystopia and science fiction, well flavored with absurdity.

  •  Actions take place on the red planet – Mars, where there is a certain civilization of creatures that resemble cats in appearance. The protagonist of the satirical pamphlet is an earthling who has matches and a pistol in his arsenal. In the world of strange creatures, he turns out to be the owner of the most powerful weapon...

2. "I'll be smart"

us1vcudwNumber of pages:271
Author: Beijia Huang
Genre: modern prose

  •  In the novel "I'll Be Smart" the education system is shown from different angles, namely: how teachers, parents and students themselves look at learning. Doing homework, relationships with teachers and parents, peers are the things that are discussed in the book. The author invites readers to follow the different feelings and emotions of the characters, to plunge into the world of a little girl.

  •  Beijia Huang started her career as a children's writer and has written more than 20 books about children and their lives. Her most popular book, I'll Be Smart, is written for adults and their children, who are guaranteed to enjoy reading it. You will plunge into the world of adventures of the girl Jin Ling, her school days. In China, the book was made into a television series, it was translated into several languages, and the author received a national award in the field of literature for children for the novel.

1. "Tired of being born and dying"

5jzoatlnNumber of pages:703
Author: Mo Yan
Genre: modern prose

  •  The rebirth of souls is an exciting topic for both scientists and philosophers, as well as ordinary people. In his novel Tired of Being Born and Dying, Mo Yan explores the Eastern theory of the rebirth of the soul. In a book woven from different genres, you can trace the journey of the soul in the bodies of different animals. You can't put down a book until you've finished reading it. The novel will make you both sad and in tears – be prepared to experience different emotions.

  •  Tired of Being Born and Dying, Mo Yan's wonderful novel, which provides the reader with topics for reflection, was awarded the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature. In 1950, during the land reform, a kind and innocent man was shot. A proud soul will again and again return to the world in different guises, fight for their truth and at the same time enjoy the beauty of apricot blossoms in the moonlight ...