Dream of Ding Village

Dream of Ding Village

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0802119328

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Officially censored upon its Chinese publication, and the subject of a bitter lawsuit between author and publisher, Dream of Ding Village is Chinese novelist Yan Lianke's most important novel to date. Set in a poor village in Henan province, it is a deeply moving and beautifully written account of a blood-selling ring in contemporary China. Based on a real-life blood-selling scandal in eastern China, Dream of Ding Village is the result of three years of undercover work by Yan Lianke, who worked as an assistant to a well-known Beijing anthropologist in an effort to study a small village decimated by HIV/AIDS as a result of unregulated blood selling. Whole villages were wiped out with no responsibility taken or reparations paid. Dream of Ding Village focuses on one family, destroyed when one son rises to the top of the Party pile as he exploits the situation, while another son is infected and dies. The result is a passionate and steely critique of the rate at which China is developing and what happens to those who get in the way.

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lot of you got infected from selling him your blood, and he is to blame for that. But please remember that my youngest boy has the fever too, and my twelve-year-old grandson died after being poisoned. Seeing as how it is come to this, I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive us.’ Leaning forward, my grandfather knocked his head against the boards of the stage. ‘Please accept my apology. I beg you not to hold a grudge against our family.’ Thwack. Grandpa struck his head upon the stage a

away his wife, my uncle had slipped out unnoticed. They saw him sitting on the threshold of the storeroom, with his head hung low and his hands on his knees, like a guilty child who couldn’t bear to go into the house and face his parents, a naughty boy who was starting to get hungry, but was too afraid to go in for dinner. To their disappointment, he was fully dressed. He was even wearing his padded coat, the buttons done up neatly to the neck. The villagers looked eagerly from Grandpa to Uncle,

gifts. Each family in the village, with the exception of ours, had been given one tree to use as timber. So it was that on this spring night, the whole of Ding Village was hard at work chopping down trees and dragging them back to their homes. God only knows where they got so many hatchets and saws. It was as if the whole village had known in advance about the great tree-felling, and had bought in supplies of tools beforehand. The clash of metal rang through the night, punctuated by the

snapping and cracking of tree branches. Sounds from the east end of the village could be heard on the distant western plain, and noise from the west end of the village carried to the alleyways in the east. Ding Village was a hive of noise and activity, seething with rare excitement. There was the constant thud of footsteps, carts rumbling through the streets and the sound of voices, as villagers compared the quality of their timber with that of their neighbours. Looks of envy swirled around every

many times the night before. As one fever raged, another even worse fever had rushed in and claimed her, taken her from this world against her will. Taken her from Ding Village and from Uncle. Knowing she was going to die, but not wanting to disturb Uncle from his sleep, she’d got out of bed, put on her nicest clothes, lain down on the floor and let the fever claim her. The fever had burned her alive. Her parched lips looked as if they’d been charred. And yet they were frozen in a faint smile,

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