China dazzled the world with Olympic pageantry and athletic prowess; however, an equally inspiring performance has been achieved in the last several years by its creative novelists. In the last two years four exciting novels have appeared in English; three are translations from the Chinese; the fourth was actually written in English. Three of these authors - Mo Yan, Ma Jian, and Wang Anyi - are old enough to have experienced most of the political and social upheavals in their country during the last fifty years. Guo Xiaolu, twenty years younger than the other writers, came of age in a rapidly modernizing country. Her perspective is, in many respects, eons apart from the other authors.

Originally appeared in US-China Review, submitted with permission from publisher.


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