Cover image for The day the sun died
Title:
The day the sun died
ISBN:
9780802128539
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Grove Press, 2018.
Physical Description:
ix, 342 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"The Day the Sun Died first published in Taiwan in 2015 as Rixi by Rye Field Publishing Company"--Title page verso.

Translation of: Ri xi.
Summary:
"Yan Lianke has secured his place as contemporary China's most essential and daring novelist, "with his superlative gifts for storytelling and penetrating eye for truth" (New York Times Book Review). His newest novel, The Day the Sun Died--winner of the Dream of the Red Chamber Award, one of the most prestigious honors for Chinese-language novels--is a haunting story of a town caught in a waking nightmare. In a little village nestled in the Balou mountains, fourteen-year-old Li Niannian and his parents run a funeral parlor. One evening, he notices a strange occurrence. Instead of preparing for bed, more and more neighbors appear in the streets and fields, carrying on with their daily business as if the sun hadn't already set. Li Niannian watches, mystified. As hundreds of residents are found dreamwalking, they act out the desires they've suppressed during waking hours. Before long, the community devolves into chaos, and it's up to Li Niannian and his parents to save the town before sunrise. Set over the course of one increasingly bizarre night, The Day the Sun Died is a propulsive, darkly sinister tale set against the national optimism of the Chinese dream"-- Provided by publisher.
Added Author:
Language Note:
In English, translated from the Chinese.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Status
Searching...
Book Fiction Yan
Searching...
Searching...
Book Fiction Yan
Searching...
Searching...
Book Fiction Yan
Searching...
Searching...
Book Fiction Yan
Searching...
Searching...
Book Fiction Yan
Searching...
Searching...
Book Fiction Yan
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Yan Lianke has secured his place as contemporary China's most essential and daring novelist, "with his superlative gifts for storytelling and penetrating eye for truth" ( New York Times Book Review ). His newest novel, The Day the Sun Died --winner of the Dream of the Red Chamber Award, one of the most prestigious honors for Chinese-language novels--is a haunting story of a town caught in a waking nightmare.

In a little village nestled in the Balou mountains, fourteen-year-old Li Niannian and his parents run a funeral parlor. One evening, he notices a strange occurrence. Instead of preparing for bed, more and more neighbors appear in the streets and fields, carrying on with their daily business as if the sun hadn't already set. Li Niannian watches, mystified. As hundreds of residents are found dreamwalking, they act out the desires they've suppressed during waking hours. Before long, the community devolves into chaos, and it's up to Li Niannian and his parents to save the town before sunrise.

Set over the course of one increasingly bizarre night, The Day the Sun Died is a propulsive, darkly sinister tale from a world-class writer.


Author Notes

Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Song County, Henan Province, China. He studied politics and education and is a 1985 graduate of Henan University. A few years later he received a degree in Literature from the People's Liberation Army Art Institute. His novels include Serve the People!, Lenin's Kisses, Dream of Ding Village, and The Four Books. Yan Lianke won the Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize in 2013. He has also won two of China's most prestigious literary awards: the Lu Xan Literary Prize (in 1998 and 2001) and the Lao She Literary Award in 2005. In 2014, he won the Franz Kafka Prize.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Yan (The Years, Months, Days) trains his fantastical, satiric eye on China's policy of forced cremation in this chilling novel about the "great somnambulism" that seizes a rural town. Horrified to learn that the bodies cremated by his brother-in-law in accordance with the mandate to "save farmland" from being wasted on graves leaves behind residual "corpse oil," a funerary shop owner named Tianbao agrees to buy and hide the oil rather than let it be shipped to factories ignorant of its origin. His son, Niannian, helps with this grim task, considering himself "like a tree that had grown up at the entrance of the underworld." That threshold is breached one midsummer night, when the townspeople begin "dreamwalking." Reports arrive of accidental drownings involving the dreamwalkers, then of a murder with an iron rod. Looting and violence spread as more people begin dreamwalking, until the town is "engulfed in the sounds of screams and murderous beatings." The interweaving of politics and delusion creates a powerful resonance that is amplified by Tianbao's borderline mythical plan for how to "drive away the darkness," leading to an unforgettable ending. This is a riveting, powerful reading experience. Agent: Laura Susijn, the Susijn Agency. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Everyone believed in dreams, but didn't believe in reality. It was all quite odd. Lianke (The Years, Months, Days, 2017) , winner of the prestigious Dream of the Red Chamber Award for Chinese-language novels and the author of dozens of novels, novellas, and short story collections, tells a dark and sinister story set in the Balou Mountains. Li Niannian sits with his father outside of his family's funeral parlor one evening when Uncle Xia arrives seeking funeral materials for his father, who drowned while dreamwalking. Then Li observes Uncle Zhang dreamwalking, going to the field to thresh wheat in his sleep. Soon, in one increasingly bizarre night, the entire town begins to slip into manic dreamwalking, as people put their thoughts into practice and carry out what is engraved in their bones. As chaos ensues, Li and his parents try to save the town from this waking nightmare before sunrise. In his unflinching satire, Lianke shows an incredible mastery of words, both brilliantly humorous and offbeat, making this novel a gripping read.--Emily Park Copyright 2018 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

LATE-LIFE LOVE: A Memoir, by Susan Gubar. (Norton, $25.95.) The influential literary critic blends tales of her marriage, her cancer treatments and her husband's age-related infirmities with discussions of works whose meaning has changed for her over time; her rereadings confirm her talents as a teacher. MORTAL REPUBLIC: How Rome Fell Into Tyranny, by Edward J. Watts. (Basic, $32.) By the second century B.C., the proud Roman Republic had been brought low by inequity, corruption and populist politicians. Since America's founders modeled it on the Roman example, Watts, a historian, warns that it behooves us to understand what went wrong over 2,000 years ago. MUHAMMAD: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires, by Juan Cole. (Nation, $28.) Cole offers an ambitiously revisionist picture of the father of Islam, replacing the idea of a militant leader with one of a peacemaker who wanted only to preach his monotheism freely and even sought "multicultural" harmony. INSURRECTO, by Gina Apostol. (Soho, $26.) Set in the Philippines, this novel raises provocative questions about history and hypocrisy as it follows two women with dueling modern-day film scripts about a colonial-era massacre. MY BROTHER'S HUSBAND: Volume 2, by Gengoroh Tagamé. Translated by Anne Ishii. (Pantheon, $25.95.) A sweet satire of Japan's taboo against gay marriage, this manga-style graphic novel is a sophisticated investigation into the nature of love, marriage, divorce, bereavement and nontraditional child-rearing. IN OUR MAD AND FURIOUS CITY, by Guy Gunaratne. (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paper, $16.) Gunaratne's striking, Bookerlonglisted debut unfolds over a few restless days in a workingclass Northwest London suburb. Despite the rush of drama indicated by its title, the book should be read for its quieter details - Gunaratne, with a gift for characterization, presents the kinds of Londoners not often seen in contemporary fiction. THE DAY THE SUN DIED, by Yan Lianke. Translated by Carlos Rojas. (Grove, $26.) This brutal satirical novel takes place on a single night, when a plague of somnambulism unleashes a host of suppressed emotions among the inhabitants of a Chinese village. The ensuing chaos is promptly struck from the official record. TELL THEM OF BATTLES, KINGS, AND ELEPHANTS, by Mathias Énard. Translated by Charlotte Mandel. (New Directions, paper, $19.95.) In this intoxicating novel, set in 1506, Michelangelo sets up shop in Constantinople to design a bridge connecting Europe and Asia. SLEEP OF MEMORY, by Patrick Modiano. Translated by Mark Polizzotti. (Yale, $24.) The Nobel laureate's dreamlike novels summon elusive, half-forgotten episodes. Here, that means Paris in the '60s, love affairs, a flirtation with the occult and a shocking crime. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: nytimes.com/books


Excerpts

Excerpts

The night sky was vast, the wheat fields were minute, and the sounds from the fields were swallowed by the night. In the end, there was a kind of stillness. The lamp lights in the wheat field were muddy yellow, Uncle Zhang walked through this muddy yellow light as he left the town and headed north. After a while, the children stopped following him, and simply stood at the entrance to town. I, however, continued following him. I wanted to watch as he bumped into a tree or an electrical pole, because when he did, his nose would start bleeding and he would wake up with a shout. I wanted to see what his first response would be upon waking up from his dreamwalking. I wanted to see what he would say, and what he would do. Fortunately, Uncle Zhang's family's field was not very far. After proceeding north for about half a li , Uncle Zhang had reached his field. To get from the road to the edge of the field, he had to cross a rain-filled ditch. As he was doing so, he slipped and fell in. I thought for sure he would wake up, but he merely climbed right back out. "A man can't let his wife and children go hungry. A man can't let his wife and children go hungry." Without waking up, he kept repeating this phrase to himself over and over. Excerpted from The Day the Sun Died by Yan Lianke All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.