Lenin's Kisses by Yan Lianke

Lenin's Kisses

Yan Lianke

In an allegorical re-telling of China’s Cultural Revolution, wacky money-making schemes are devised by the County Chief to enrich a poor region of long-suffering peasants, via an unusual tourist attraction. This absurdist tragi-comedy reads like fragments of a long-lost suppressed epic, parodying the conventions of historical scholarship with quotations and footnotes to every chapter.


He roared: One million a day, ten million in ten days, a hundred million in three months, and three hundred and seventy million a year. Three hundred and seventy million – and this would be just from the sale of admissions tickets. In addition to the Lenin Mausoleum, the Lenin Forest Park will also have … endless scenery for you to enjoy. If you climb the mountain to visit the Lenin Mausoleum, you will need to purchase a constant stream of admissions tickets, to the point that it will even be necessary to remain up on the mountain for a night or two. This, in turn, will involve paying for a hotel room and for meals. Even a box of tissues will cost two yuan. Just think, a tourist visiting the mountain will, at the very least, need to spend five hundred yuan? How much money would ten thousand tourists spend? They would give us five million yuan!

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