How Old Dan Became a Tree
Published by Valley Press
In this boundary-breaking collection of short stories, Yang Zhengguang, the dark horse of contemporary Chinese literature, unflinchingly dissects the passions and sexual mores of the past. By his own admission, he aims to “unsettle” the reader with black humour and filmic vividness, enticing them into a world where vendettas, humiliation, grave-robbing and murder are an integral part of everyday life in a rural Chinese province untethered from reality.
These stories, available in English for the first time, include the inspiration for the 2001 film How Harry Became a Tree, for which Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic relocated the action to 1920s Ireland; and for which Colm Meaney, starring alongside Cillian Murphy, won an Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actor. Now, this intriguing volume is set to introduce Yang Zhengguang’s unique view of 20th-century China to a whole new global audience.