Beijing Coma

A Novel

Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew

Picador

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Dai Wei, a PhD student and protestor in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, was caught by a soldier's bullet and fell into a deep coma. But as the millennium draws near, he begins to emerge from unconsciousness, and to sense the massive changes in his country. At once a powerful allegory of a rising China, and a seminal story of the Tiananmen Square protests, Beijing Coma is Ma Jian's masterpiece.

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Excerpt
Through the gaping hole where the covered balcony used to be, you see the bulldozed locust tree slowly begin to rise again. This is a clear sign that from now on you’re going to have to take your life seriously.
You reach for a pillow and tuck it under your shoulders, propping up your head so that the blood in your brain can flow back down into your heart, allowing your thoughts to clear a little. Your mother used to prop you up like that from time to time.
Silvery mornings are always filled with new intentions. But today is the first day of the new millennium, so the dawn

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Reviews

Praise for Beijing Coma

A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A WASHINGTON POST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR


"An extraordinarily effective novel . . . for all its savagery, it is one of the most optimistic novels I’ve encountered in a long time."--Jess Row, The New York Times Book Review

"[A] masterful new novel . . . Ma Jian offers the Chinese people an avenue through which to retrieve their souls."--Belle Yang, The Washington Post

"There are passages of extraordinary power, which, in chronicling the horrors perpetrated by the Chinese government in the Mao era and after, belong in the pantheon of dissident literature."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Evocative . . . Part of what gives [Beijing Coma] its highly energized, manic edge is the fierceness of Ma Jian's conviction that it might be possible for a work of literature to function as a lifeline to cast out into the world."--Francine Prose, The New York Review of Books

"A courageous and clarion writer."--Donna Seaman, Booklist

"An epic novel that reminds us of the capacity of fiction to stir the conscience and exhorts us to believe in the power of even one voice."--Tom Cooper, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"So remarkable is it that we should suddenly receive this gift, an account of Tiananmen as breathless as John Reeds' gee-whiz account of the Russian Revolution, Ten Days that Shook the World, I've almost neglected to mention how carefully Ma Jian constructs his time capsule."--John Leonard, Harper's Magazine


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About the Author

Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew

MA JIAN is the author of a memoir, Red Dust, as well Stick Out Your Tongue as the story collection, Stick Out Your Tongue, which was banned by the Chinese government. He lives in London.

Ma Jian

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Available Formats and Book Details

Beijing Coma
A Novel
Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
June 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312428365
ISBN10: 0312428367
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 720 pages
$18.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
May 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429937214
ISBN10: 1429937211
6 x 9 inches, 592 pages
$9.99
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