The Years Months Days - Two Novellas
Publisher: Black Cat
Yan Lianke’s reputation continues to grow as one of the most renowned novelists writing from inside China today. In a recent New York Times “By the Book” column, Amos Oz called Yan Lianke “a great Chinese writer.” And in Jiayang Fan’s NYTBR of The Explosion Chronicles, she wrote: “ I can think of few better novelists than Yan, with his superlative gifts for storytelling and penetrating eye for truth.”
Yan was twice short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize (most recently for The Four Books), as well as the Prix Femina Etranger, the Financial Times Oppenheimer Emerging Voices Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Award. He recently won the Franz Kafka Prize for his body of work (the first Chinese writer to receive the award) and the prestigious Dream of the Red Chamber Award in China.
Yan’s books have landed on Best of the Year lists and have been chosen as New York Times Editors’ Choice picks.
These two short novellas are more approachable for new readers than Yan’s longer political and cultural satires
Written just before his breakthrough novel Serve the People, they demonstrate Yan’s early genius. They are fable-like tales focusing on everyday villagers struggling to overcome personal hardship.
Marrow is about a single mother grappling to overcome the stigma of mental illness in her children. Colm Toibin has called it “a masterpiece” and the Asian Review of Books said the story is “timeless” and “marvelous.”
The Days, The Months, The Years is a bestselling classic in China—every schoolchild reads this fable and it has sold over a million copies. It tells the story of an old man keeping his sense of purpose alive by tending to his abandoned village. Yan won the prestigious Lu Xun Literary Prize (China’s equivalent of our National Book Award) for this novella.