Borrow
Buy

Stick Out Your Tongue

by Ma Jian

These short stories struck me as absolutely beautiful, which is odd because they are in many ways extremely gruesome. They will give you haunting pictures of a China and Tibet that you could never have imagined before you read them. These are also pictures that the government of China did not want people in the west to see. The book was banned in China and the writer lives in exile. Be prepared for blood, guts, sky burial, dried corpses and a landscape of open skies and piercing beauty.

Extract

Before the night wind started to blow, I spread out my sleeping bag and snuggled inside with my shoes still on. I lay on my back, stared into the black sky and thought about life and death. For Tibetans death isn’t a sad occasion, merely a different phase of life. But it was hard to understand the pilgrims who prostrated themselves for hours outside the temple gates, grating their heads on the ground. Why are men so afraid of retribution? I was hungry. My stomach was empty. A gust of air whirled through my abdomen and slipped out through my guts.
Translated by Flora Drew

Parallels

Red Sky by Ma Jian
Last Seen in Lhasa by Claire Scobie
Ursula Under by Ingrid Hill
 

Read Extract

Books with similar rating

Borrow

1. Select UK region:

Not in the UK?

Scotland Norther Ireland North East of England North West of England Yorkshire and the Humber Wales West Midlands East Midlands East of England London South West of England South East of England

Sign in

 
Email:
 
Password:

Whichbook Sign Up

Enter your email address to get started:

First name:
Last name:
Password:
Confirm password:

Alerts

Email alerts are only available for registered users.