Sound and Silence: My Experience with China and Literature (Sinotheory) (Hardcover)
Yan Lianke is a world-renowned author of novels, short stories, and essays whose provocative and nuanced writing explores the reality of everyday life in contemporary China. In Sound and Silence, Yan compares his literary project to a blind man carrying a flashlight at night whose role is to help others perceive the darkness that surrounds them. Often described as China's most censored author, Yan reflects candidly on literary censorship in contemporary China. He outlines the Chinese state's project of national amnesia that suppresses memories of past crises and social traumas. Although being banned in China is often a selling point in foreign markets, Yan argues that there is no necessary correlation between censorship and literary quality. Among other topics, Yan also examines the impact of American literature on Chinese literature in the 1980s and 1990s. Encapsulating his perspectives on life, writing, and literary history, Sound and Silence includes an introduction by translator Carlos Rojas and an afterword by Yan.
Yan Lianke is the author of Discovering Fiction, also published by Duke University Press, as well as Hard Like Water, The Day the Sun Died, The Explosion Chronicles, and many other books. Winner of the Franz Kafka Prize and a two-time finalist for the Man Booker International Prize, Yan teaches at Renmin University in Beijing and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Carlos Rojas is Professor of Modern Chinese Cultural Studies at Duke University and translator of several of Yan's novels.