Chronicle of A Blood Merchant

Chronicle of A Blood Merchant

Book - 2003
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Baker & Taylor
Struggling to support his family on his meager salary amid the cruelty and hardships of Mao's China, Xu Sanguan is haunted by his love for Yile, his wife's bastard son, over his own children, until a series of devastating events forces Xu to risk his own life to save Yile. 17,500 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Xu Sanguan is a Chinese everyman - a cartpusher in a silk mill struggling under the cruelty and hardships of Mao's leadership. His meager salary is not enough to sustain his family, so he pays regular visits to the local blood chief, followed by stops at the Victory Restaurant, where he pounds on the table and demands his ritual meal: "A plate of fried pork livers and two shots of yellow rice wine. And warm the wine up for me!"
But fried pork livers and yellow rice wine are not enough to restore Xu Sanguan. With the country in the throes of the Cultural Revolution, his visits to the blood chief become lethally frequent and his obligations to his family press against him mercilessly. At the height of famine, the Xu family lies motionless in bed, rising twice a day to consume increasingly watery rations of corn gruel. Xu Sanguan's wife is forced to stand on a stool in the center of town wearing a sandwich board that reads "prostitute." Yile, his wife's bastard son, forever haunts Xu Sanguan's sense of honor. And when Xu Sanguan sells his blood so he can take his family out to a proper meal, he does not invite Yile, who paces the town, famished and in tears, offering himself as a son to any man who will buy him a bowl of noodles.
In a series of heartbreaking reversals, Xu Sanguan decides to risk his own life to save Yile and comes to understand that in a society ravaged by suspicion, hostility, and poverty, blood money not only pays debts, but forgives them as well.

Baker
& Taylor

Struggling to support his family on his meager salary amid the cruelty and hardships of Mao's China, Xu Sanguan is haunted by his love for Yile, his wife's son from a previous relationship, over his own children.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2003
Edition: 1st American ed
Description: 263 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780375422201
037542220X
Branch Call Number: YuH
Additional Contributors: Jones, Andrew F.

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m
mclarjh
Aug 23, 2015

Named as one of the ten most important books in China during the 1990s (from book jacket). Terrific writing, reminds me of Mo Yan.

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