Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke

Dream of Ding Village

Yan Lianke

What an interesting novel. AIDS - a commonly used word but rarely written about in works of fiction. Using real events, the author has managed to bring to life the aspirations of poor, village people to rise above their status and try to live a better life. Unfortunately this comes at a great expense - they pay with their lives. Narrated by a dead child, some may view his father as an entrepreneur. Me - I view him as callous and selfish.

Extract

Blood banks opened in the village market, at the village crossroads and in the empty rooms of private homes. They even opened in converted cowsheds. The owners would simply scrub down the floors and walls, lay wooden planks over the trough to make a table and hang blood-collections vials frrom the rafters. With this came some basic equipment - needles, syringes, plastic tubes, bottles of rubbing alcohol and more vials - they were ready to begin buying and selling blood.
Throughout the village, blood-filled plastic tubing hung like vines, and bottles of plasma like plump red grapes. Everywhere you looked there were broken glass vials and syringes, discarded cotton balls, used needles and splashes of congealed blood. Bottles for collecting and sorting blood plasma dangled from rafters and littered the surfaces of benches and tables. All day long, the air was filled with the stench of fresh blood.

Parallels
  • Serve the People by Yan Lianke
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Books with similar mood

The Hundred Wells of Salaga

Ayesha Harruna Attah

The Girl From the Garden

Parnaz Foroutan

Spill Simmer Falter Wither

Sara Baume

Valentine Grey

Sandi Toksvig

The Unlucky Lottery

Hakan Nesser

The Godless Boys

Naomi Wood

A Girl Returned

Donatella Di Pietrantonio

The End We Start From

Megan Hunter

The Forgiven

Lawrence Osborne

Unexploded

Alison MacLeod

The Girl who Fell from the Sky

Simon Mawer

The Outcast

Sadie Jones

The End of Innocence

Moni Mohsin

Imagine This

Sade Adeniran

Just Another Jihadi Jane

Tabish Khair

Walk the Blue Fields

Claire Keegan

The Finest Type of English Womanhood

Rachel Heath

Viral

Helen Fitzgerald

The Last Kestrel

Jill McGivering

From a Low and Quiet Sea

Donal Ryan

Yiza

Michael Köhlmeier

Genie and Paul

Natasha Soobramanien

The Language of Flowers

Vanessa Diffenbaugh

America Pacifica

Anna North

Blacklands

Belinda Bauer

Once Upon a Time in England

Helen Walsh

Fresh Apples

Rachel Trezise

I'm Not Scared

Niccolo Ammaniti

Always the Sun

Neil Cross

A Dreamer's Paradise

David Karanja

Dominicana

Angie Cruz

The End of Eddy

Édouard Louis

Iron Towns

Anthony Cartwright

The Last Quarter of the Moon

Chi Zijian

Daimones

Massimo Marino

Boxer Handsome

Anna Whitwham

Saying Nothing

Catherine Broughton

Histories

Sam Guglani

The Starboard Sea

Amber Dermont

The Mountain Story

Lori Lansens

The Hired Man

Aminatta Forna

Trespass

Valerie Martin

Armistice

Nick Stafford

An Empty Room

Talitha Stevenson

Murder Squad

Martin Edwards

Feast Days

Ian MacKenzie

Akram's War

Nadim Safdar

What Became of the White Savage

François Garde

The Man I Became

Peter Verhelst