Novelists are forever trying to distance themselves from politics, but the novel itself closes in on politics. Novelists are so concerned with "man's fate", that they tend to lose sight of their own fate. Therein lies their tragedy. Joseph Stalin
Northeast Gaomi Township: I was born there, I grew up there: Even though there was plenty of misery, These mournful ballads are for you.
"Gao Yang!" The noonday sun beat down fiercely; dusty air carried the stink of rotting garlic after a prolonged dry spell.
With a soft "Jinju..." on his lips, he buried his face in the we snow.
This epic novel of beauty and brutality, set in a landscape at once strange and alluring, paints a portrait of a people whose fierce passions break the rigid confines of their ancient traditions. The farmers of Paradise County have been leading a hardscrabble life unchanged for generations. The Communist government has encouraged them to plant garlic, but selling the crop is not as simple as they believed. Warehouses fill up, taxes skyrocket, and government officials maltreat even those who have traveled for days to sell their harvest. A surplus on the garlic market ensues, and the farmers must watch in horror as their crops wither and rot in the fields. Families are destroyed by the random imprisonment of young and old for supposed crimes against the state. The prisoners languish in horrifying conditions in their cells, with only their strength of character and thoughts of their loved ones to save them from madness.… (more)