This attention is in sharp contrast to a recent complaint from Wolfgang Kubin, one of the most renowned Sinologists in
I happen to agree with Goldblatt. Growing up in
Now this weekend's NY Times Book Review astounds me again, this time in a pleasant way. Among the five novelists reviewed, Mo Yan and Wang Anyi are definitely the top novelists in
Jiang Rong is new to the literary scene, though he's from the same generation as Mo and Wang, and I doubt that he will write another novel. I'm in the middle of reading the Chinese original of his Wolf Totem right now, and from what I've read, I have to agree with Pankaj Mishra that "the novel's literary claims are shaky," despite the international prizes it received. The novel is of a "concept-driven" type; it certainly lacks the level of emotional complexity portrayed in the works of Mo Yan and Wang Anyi. It, however, raises important ecological and racial chauvinism issues. The phenomena that Wolf Totem has become a record best seller – the highest among all books sold in
Mo Yan's Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out (a great title on a terrible cover) and Jiang Rong's Wolf Totem have both been translated by Howard Goldblatt. While the literary quality gap between these two authors is huge, I do think it is necessary to have both novels translated, and I recommend both to American readers. Wolf Totem, being a best seller in
By the way, in the aforementioned interview with
The New Yorker notwithstanding, now you can read these translated Chinese novels.