"This is a poet’s novel, written in a spare and elegant style, gracefully rendered in English. Han Dong finds irony and humor in his tale of one family caught up in the injustices and absurdities of Cultural Revolution China, and through his chronicle of the vicissitudes faced by the Taos he tells the story of millions whose lives were disrupted in that turbulent decade." —Richard King, University of Victoria
"For those of us used to reading horrific stories of personal suffering during the Cultural Revolution, the distinctiveness, and hence importance, of Han Dong’s Banished! is quickly evident. Avoiding resentment or condemnation, explicit or implied, Banished! focuses from start to finish on human feelings and reactions to loss and gain, conflict and resolution, hope and despair. Its strongly humanistic focus thoroughly globalizes the work and will make it meaningful to readers beyond those with a particular interest in China." —Timothy C. Wong, Arizona State University
It is 1969 and China is in the throes of the Cultural Revolution. The Tao family is banished to the countryside, forced to leave comfortable lives in Nanjing to be reeducated in the true nature of the revolution by the peasants of Sanyu village.
The parents face exile with stoicism and teach their son to embrace reeducation wholeheartedly. Is this simple pragmatism, an attempt to protect the boy and ensure his future? Or do the banished cadres really cling to their belief in their leaders and the ideals of the Revolution? These questions remain tantalizingly unanswered in this prize-winning first novel.
Author: Han Dong; Translator: Harman, Nicky;Han Dong
is one of China’s most important avant-garde poets as well as an essayist, short story writer, and novelist. Banished!
won the prestigious Chinese Novelist Prize in 2003.