OVERRIDE

Stick Out Your Tongue

Stories

Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew; Afterword by the author

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Tibet is a land lost in the glare of politics and romanticism, and Ma Jian set out to discover its truths. Stick Out Your Tongue is a revelation: a startlingly vivid portrait of Tibet, both enchanting and horrifying, beautiful and violent, seductive and perverse.

In this profound work of fiction, a Chinese writer whose marriage has fallen apart travels to Tibet. As he wanders through the countryside, he witnesses the sky burial of a Tibetan woman who died during childbirth, shares a tent with a nomad who is walking to a sacred mountain to seek forgiveness for sleeping with his daughter, meets a silversmith who has hung the wind-dried corpse of his lover on the wall of his cave, and hears the story of a young female incarnate lama who died during a Buddhist initiation rite. In the thin air of the high plateau, the divide between dream and reality becomes confused.

When this book was published in Chinese in 1997, the government accused Ma Jian of "harming the fraternal solidarity of the national minorities," and a blanket ban was placed on his future work. With its publication in English, including a new afterword by the author that sets the book in its personal and political context, readers get a rare glimpse of Tibet through Chinese eyes--and a window on the imagination of one of China's foremost writers.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Excerpted from Stick Out Your Tongue by Ma Jian. Copyright © 2006 by Ma Jian. Published in May 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.
 
THE WOMAN AND THE BLUE SKY
 
Our bus ground to the top of the five-thousand-metre Kambala Pass. Behind us, a few army trucks were still struggling up the foothills. As the last clouds tore from the rocks and prayer stones on the summit and slipped down the gullies, Yamdrok Lake came into view. When the surface of the lake mirrored the blue sky and plunged the distant snow peaks head-first into the water, I was filled
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REVIEWS

Praise for Stick Out Your Tongue

"One of the most important and courageous voices in Chinese literature." --Gao Xingjian, winner of the Nobe Prize in literature

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew; Afterword by the author

  • Ma Jian left Beijing for Hong Kong in 1987. After the handover of Hong Kong he moved to Germany and then London, where he now lives. He is the author of Red Dust and The Noodle Maker, which FSG published in 2005.
  • Ma Jian Copyright Flora Drew
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Available Formats and Book Details

Stick Out Your Tongue

Stories

Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew; Afterword by the author

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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