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Secessia by Kent Wascom
Secessia

“Wascom is one of the most exhilarating historical novelists in
the country.”
Ron Charles

From the immensely talented author of The Blood of Heaven, compared by reviewers to Faulkner, O’Connor, and McCarthy, comes a gothic portrait of a city ravaged by war and struck by vice and disease—Civil War New Orleans read more
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Larry Kramer's THE NORMAL HEART
 
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The Four Books By Yan Lianke

Dream of Ding Village By Yan Lianke

Serve the People! By Yan Lianke
A fiercely satirical story of greed and corruption from “one of China’s most successful fiction writers” (The New York Times)

Lenin's Kisses
By Yan Lianke
Grove Press
978-0-8021-2177-6 • $18.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2013
Fiction
In the bucolic village of Liven in the middle of a sweltering summer, it suddenly begins to snow, a hot snow that falls for seven days— seven long days that not only transform summer into winter but that forever disrupt the balance of life. This mystifying climatic incongruity begins the award-winning novel Lenin’s Kisses, an absurdist masterpiece that melds fable, history, and satire in an enthralling tragicomedy set in modern day China.

Nestled deep within the Balou mountains, by and large spared from the government’s watchful eye, the people of Liven enjoy harmonious days filled with enough food and leisure to be fully content. But when their crops are obliterated by the unseasonal snowstorm, and with it their livelihood, a county official arrives with a lucrative scheme both to raise money for the district and boost his career. He convinces the village to start a traveling performance troupe showcasing their talents, which are unlike anything he has ever witnessed. The majority of the 197 villagers are disabled, and their skill sets include Blind Tonghua’s acute listening, One-Eye’s one-eyed needle threading, and Deafman Ma’s firecrackers on the ear. With the profits from this extraordinary show, the county official intends to buy Lenin’s embalmed corpse from Russia—where it is slowly decaying from lack of upkeep—and install it in a grand mausoleum in the mountains to attract tourism. In the ultimate marriage of capitalism and communism, such an incredible acquisition would benefit the inhabitants of Liven as well as the entire region. However, even the best intentions go astray, and the success of the Shuanghuai County Special-Skills Performance Troupe comes at a serious price.

Yan Lianke, one of China’s most distinguished writers—whose works often push the envelope of his country’s censorship system—delivers a humorous, daring, and riveting portrait of the trappings and consequences of greed and corruption at the heart of all humanity.

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