Cell Phone: A Novel
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258pp. July 2011
Cell Phone: A Novel
Author: Liu Zhenyun; Translator: Goldblatt, Howard;
Popular TV host Yan Shouyi has it all: A great job, a loyal wife and a beautiful young lover. It all begins to unravel when he accidently leaves his cellphone at home one fateful day. Cell Phone is part comedy, part romance and part social commentary on the changing nature of Chinese society and the impact of technology on relationships. Beginning in 1968 in the protagonist’s childhood rural hometown, Liu’s fast-paced, contemporary tale takes us into the complicated family and social relationships of Yan Shouyi, telling a tale of friendship, love and betrayal. The cellphone becomes the “grenade” in this tale that dramatically “detonates” in the life of the main character—a telling tale in a country which is the largest user of mobile phones in the world. The book closes with an epilogue set decades earlier when communications were primitive and unreliable, but with remarkable similarities to the problems and pitfalls of the communication age illustrated in Liu’s modern-day story.

Distributed for MerwinAsia
Author: Liu Zhenyun; Translator: Goldblatt, Howard;
Born in 1958, Liu Zhenyun, author of Chicken Feathers Everywhere and Reams of Rubbish, has earned a reputation over the past two decades as one of the most serious and dedicated practitioners of realist fiction of his generation. His latest novel is One Word Matches a Thousand.



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