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Vitlöksballaderna (original 1988; edition 2012)
by Mo Yan
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Wikipedia in English
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"Banned in China after the Tiananmen Square massacre, this epic novel by one of Chinca's leading writers portrays a people driven to smash the rigid confines of their ancient traditions. The farmers of Paradise County have been leading a hardscrabble life unchanged for generations. The Communist government encourages them to plant garlic, but selling the crop is not as easy as they believed. Warehouses fill up, taxes skyrocket, and government officials maltreat those who have traveled for days to sell their harvest. When a surplus on the garlic market ensues, the farmers watch in horror as their crop wither and rot in the fields. Families are destroyed by the random imprisonment of young and old for alleged crimes against the state. Prisoners languish in horrifying conditions in their cells. Enraged, the farmers storm the headquarters of corrupt Communist officials in a riot of apocalyptic proprotions while a blind street singer rails against the chaos and destruction. His voice is the conscience of the land and his fate will mirror the country's. Against this turmoil unfold three tales of love, loyalty, and vengeance: between man and woman, father and child, friend and friend"--back cover.
(summary from another edition)
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