Boxer Rebellion

Illustration: Brian Wang

Mo Yan's Boxer Rebellion novel an orgy of pain and pleasure

Mo Yan's first novel to be published in English since he won last year's Nobel prize for literature is a strange, gruesome, vivid and ambitious historical novel set during the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1901). As the 20th century struggles into being, the grand narratives that will dominate most of the next 100 years (war, genocide, empire, economics, technology, guerilla warfare) are played out in ways that are at once intimate and epic, personal and political, realistic and surreal.