OVERRIDE

The Noodle Maker

A Novel

Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew

Picador

Two men, one a writer of political propaganda, the other a professional blood donor, meet for dinner each week. Over the course of one drunken evening, the writer recounts the stories he would create, had he the courage: a young man buys an old kiln from an art school, opens a private crematorium, and is overwhelmed by demand; a heartbroken actress performs a public suicide by stepping into the jaws of a wild tiger, watched nonchalantly by her ex-lover; an illegal migrant scrapes together a living by writing love letters for the illiterate but can't help falling in love himself. Extraordinary characters inspire the writer, their lives pulled and pummeled by fate and politics as if they were balls of dough in the hands of an all-powerful noodle maker.

This satirical novel about the absurdities and cruelties of life in a post-Tiananmen China allows readers a humorous yet profound glimpse of individuals struggling to survive under a system that dictates their every move.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Noodle Maker

"One of the most important and courageous voices in Chinese literature."--Gao Xingjian, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature

"A superb comedian . . . this antic nihilist is hard to beat."--Los Angeles Times

"Milan Kundera with a laugh track . . . One writer especially unafraid to flip off the Old Guard [and] still too punk to be found on Chinese bookshelves, even today."--Nerve.com

"Brave New World territory, where national euphemisms attempt to obscure the nation's true horrors . . . Richly drawn characters . . . The Noodle Maker is a remarkable achievement."--Time Out New York

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew

  • Ma Jian is the author of Red Dust, which won the Thomas Cook Prize in the UK. His most recent novel is Stick Out Your Tongue (FSG). He now lives in England.
  • Ma Jian Copyright Flora Drew
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Noodle Maker

A Novel

Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew

PEN Literary Award - Finalist, PEN Literary Award - Finalist

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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