Soul Mountain (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Some stories wouldn't be believable if they hadn't actually happened. This is one of them. Profound, lyrical, spiritual -- this is perhaps the most humane book I've ever read.

— From Jeff

Description


“If a successful novelist is one who tells us something new about the human spirit and a successful novel transports us to another world, then Gao and Soul Mountain have succeeded spectacularly.” — Washington Post Book World

An extraordinary work of immense wisdom and profound beauty by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

In 1983 Chinese playwright, critic, fiction writer, and painter Gao Xingjian was diagnosed with lung cancer and faced imminent death. But six weeks later, a second examination revealed the cancer was gone, and he was thrown back into the world of the living. Faced with a repressive cultural environment and the threat of a spell in a prison farm, Gao fled Beijing and began a journey of 15,000 kilometers over a period of five months. The result of this epic voyage of discovery is Soul Mountain.

A bold, lyrical, prodigious novel, Soul Mountain probes the human soul with an uncommon directness and candor. Interwoven with a myriad of stories and countless memorable characters—from venerable Daoist masters and Buddhist nuns to mythical Wild Men, deadly Qichun snakes, and farting buses—is the narrator's poignant inner journey and search for freedom.

About the Author


Gao Xingjian (whose name is pronounced gow shing-jen) is the first Chinese recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in 1940 in Jiangxi province in eastern China, he has lived in France since 1987. Gao Xingjian is an artistic innovator, in both the visual arts and literature. He is that rare multitalented artist who excels as novelist, playwright, essayist, director, and painter. In addition to Soul Mountain and One Man's Bible, a book of his plays, The Other Shore, and a volume of his paintings, Return to Painting, have been published in the United States.

Praise For…


“A true work of great literature.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Remarkable not only for its magical tales, folkloric roots and eroticism but also for its patchwork of narrative styles, from poems and monologues to ballads and conversations…Lyrical.”
New York Times

“If a successful novelist is one who tells us something new about the human spirit and a successful novel transports us to another world, then Gao and Soul Mountain have succeeded spectacularly.”
Washington Post Book World

"Chinese literature [of the future] will have to contend with the creative energy and the daring of Gao Xingjian."
Le Monde

"It is a relief to come to a book that celebrates the pleasures of literature with such gusto and knowingness."
Publishers Weekly

“Engaging and elegant…Soul Mountain is a quirky, thick, playful monster of a book, a bit like what one might expect if Beckett or Ionesco had traveled in China and been steeped in Chinese myths.”
New York Times Book Review


Product Details
ISBN: 9780060936235
ISBN-10: 0060936231
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: October 23rd, 2001
Pages: 528
Language: English