Book details

Rouge Street

Three Novellas

Author: Shuang Xuetao; translated by Jeremy Tiang

Rouge Street

Rouge Street


About This Book

Introduced by Madeleine Thien, author of the Booker finalist novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing

From one of the most highly celebrated young Chinese writers, three dazzling...

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Book Details

Introduced by Madeleine Thien, author of the Booker finalist novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing

From one of the most highly celebrated young Chinese writers, three dazzling novellas of Northeast China, mixing realism, mysticism, and noir.

An inventor dreams of escaping his drab surroundings in a flying machine. A criminal, trapped beneath a frozen lake, fights a giant fish. A strange girl pledges to ignite a field of sorghum stalks.

Rouge Street presents three novellas by Shuang Xuetao, the lauded young Chinese writer whose frank, fantastical short fiction has already inspired comparisons to Ernest Hemingway and Haruki Murakami. Located in China’s frigid Northeast, Shenyang, the author’s birthplace, boasts an illustrious past—legend holds that the emperor’s makeup was manufactured here. But while the city enjoyed renewed importance as an industrial hub under Mao Zedong, China’s subsequent transition from communism to a market economy led to an array of social ills—unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, domestic violence, divorce, suicide—that gritty Shenyang epitomizes.

Orbiting the toughest neighborhood of a postindustrial city whose vast, inhospitable landscape makes every aspect of life a struggle, these many-voiced missives are united by Shuang Xuetao’s singular style—one that balances hardscrabble naturalism with the transcendent and faces the bleak environs with winning humor. Rouge Street illuminates not only the hidden pains of those left behind in an extraordinary economic boom but also the inspiration and grace they, nevertheless, manage to discover.

Imprint Publisher

Metropolitan Books



In The News

“What draws me to Shuang Xuetao's work is his superlative language, his short, playful, muscular sentences. His down-to-earth narratives unfold at a leisurely pace, yet they remain powerful. The result is a singular mode of storytelling.”
—Mo Yan, Nobel Prize–winning author of Red Sorghum

“Shuang Xuetao is the most distinctive young Chinese writer. With lyrical language and uncanny narration, he expresses the intense love that literature has for humanity—especially its lowest order. To read his writing is to have your heart pierced, as well as to experience the power of art, which can be a beam of light slicing through the darkness.”
—Yan Lianke, author of The Day the Sun Died

“Shuang Xuetao's meteoric rise in the last few years is a testament to the power of his writing. He has clearly been influenced by modernism—Wang Xiaobo, Hemingway and Murakami are all his mentors.”
—David Der-wei Wang, Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University

“We unanimously hailed the author's adventurous spirit and thanked him for creating a literary magnetic field that teaches us new ways to spin.”
—Su Tong, author of Raise the Red Lantern, in the citation for the 2020 Blancpain-Imaginist Award

“Growing up amid the decay of China’s industrial base, Shuang Xuetao writes with a devastating sense of decline. His words may conform to conventional realism, yet they radiate a mysterious aura that cannot be dispelled.”
—Yu Hua, author of To Live and Chronicle of a Blood Merchant

About the Creators

Rouge Street

Rouge Street