Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather: Stories (Paperback)

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“Precisely detailed and delicately suggestive: the best work of Gao’s yet to appear in English translation.”—Kirkus Reviews

A collection of six exquisite short stories from Gao Xingjian, the first Chinese writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. These beautifully translated stories take as their themes the fragility of love and life, and the haunting power of memory.

In “The Temple,” the narrator’s acute and mysterious anxiety overshadows the delirious happiness of an outing with his new wife on their honeymoon. In “The Cramp” a man narrowly escapes drowning in the sea, only to find that no one even noticed his absence. In the title story the narrator attempts to relieve his homesickness only to find that he is lost in a labyrinth of childhood memories.

Everywhere in this collection are powerful psychological portraits of characters whose unarticulated hopes and fears betray the never-ending presence of the past in their present lives.

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…

“For all their elusiveness, these impressionistic sketches have an austere power.” — New York Times Book Review

“Dreamlike … the force of Gao’s imagination is spellbinding.” — San Jose Mercury News

“A collection of superb short stories that deftly experiment with language and narrative form … the elegant simplicity of [Gao’s] meditations on memory, loss, and love ache beautifully with a melancholic desire to understand the past… immensely rewarding and enriching.” — Rocky Mountain News

“[Gao’s] narrators walk as if in a dream through a private landscape of memory and sensation.” — Boston Globe

“Beautiful.” — Village Voice

“Precisely detailed and delicately suggestive: the best work of Gao’s yet to appear in English translation.” — Kirkus Reviews

“These spare, evocative pieces. . . offer a sample of Nobel-winner Gao’s sharp, poetic early work.” — Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060575564
ISBN-10: 0060575565
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: January 4th, 2005
Pages: 144
Language: English
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