In the ninety-ninth district of a sprawling labour camp, the Author, Musician, Scholar, Theologian and Technician – and hundreds just like them – are undergoing Re-education, to restore their revolutionary zeal and credentials.
In charge of this process is the Child, who delights in draconian rules, monitoring behaviour and confiscating treasured books. But when bad weather arrives, followed by the ‘three bitter years’, the intellectuals are abandoned by the regime and left on their own to survive. Divided into four narratives, the Four Books tells the story of the Great Famine, one of China’s most devastating and controversial periods. This book was the winner of The Franz Kafka Prize 2014.
It was nominated For Czech Award Magnesia Litera 2014; Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize 2013; Finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2013; Winner of The Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize 2013; shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012; shortlisted for the Prix Femina Etranger 2012; shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2011; Winner of the Lao She Literature Award 2004; and winner of the Lu Xun Award 1997.