The Man With the Compound Eyes

by Wu Ming-Yi

Full of mysticism and imagery, this is a novel anchored in ecological concerns. Its richly poetic style brings nature to life in various guises and the characters' voices vividly portray their culture and identity. The raw and complex beauty of this book will capture your imagination whilst also delivering a message of loneliness and loss.


The man began to speak … if it can even be counted as speaking. His mouth didn’t move in the least, but I heard him loud and clear: ‘Child, you are fated never to catch a boar, never to become a good hunter.’
‘What can I do then?’
‘What can you do?’ he asked me back. I discovered his eyes weren’t like human eyes. They were more like compound eyes composed of countless single eyes, the eyes of clouds, mountains, streams, meadowlarks and muntjacs, all arranged together. As I gazed, each little eye seemed to contain a different scene, and those scenes arranged to form a vast panorama the likes of which I had never seen.
‘What can you do?’
Translated by Darryl Sterk


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