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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Noodle Maker

The Noodle Maker

A Novel

Ma Jian; Translated by Flora Drew



From Mi Jian, the highly acclaimed Chinese dissident, comes a satirical novel about the absurdities of life in a post-Tiananmen China.

Two men meet for dinner each week. Over the course of one of these drunken evenings, the writer recounts the stories he would write, had he the courage: a young man buys an old kiln and opens a private crematorium, delighting in his ability to harass the corpses of police officers and Party secretaries, while swooning to banned Western music; a heartbroken actress performs a public suicide by stepping into the jaws of a wild tiger, watched nonchalantly by her ex-lover. Extraordinary characters inspire him, their lives pulled and pummeled by fate and politics, as if they are balls of dough in the hands of an all-powerful noodle maker.

Ma Jian's satirical masterpiece allows us a humorous, yet profound, glimpse of those struggling to survive under a system that dictates their every move.

PEN Literary Award - Finalist

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.” —

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

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.

image of Ma Jiano
Copyright Flora Drew

Ma Jian


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