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Change (What Was Communism?) Paperback – 23 Oct 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Seagull Books; Rep Tra edition (23 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857421603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857421609
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 759,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Review

"In his novels and short stories, Mr. Mo paints sprawling, intricate portraits of Chinese rural life, often using flights of fancy-animal narrators, elements of fairy tales-that evoke the lyrical techniques of South American magical realists." -New York Times "Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition."-Nobel Committee for Literature "If China has a Kafka, it may be Mo Yan. Like Kafka, Yan has the ability to examine his society through a variety of lenses, creating fanciful, Metamorphosis-like transformations or evoking the numbing bureaucracy and casual cruelty of modern governments."-Publishers Weekly"

About the Author

Mo Yan has published dozens of short stories and novels in Chinese. His other works include Pow!; The Garlic Ballads; The Republic of Wine; Shifu; You'l Do Anything for a Laugh; Big Breasts & Wide Hips; and Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out. Howard Goldblatt is research professor of Chinese at the University of Notre Dame. Founding editor of Modern Chinese Literature, he has contributed essays and articles to the Washington Post, Times, Time, World Literature Today, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Denis Vukosav TOP 50 REVIEWER on 17 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
Mo Yan is a Chinese writer who back in 2012 received the Nobel Prize for Literature, and although this award is not given for a particular work of literature, but for the entire oeuvre of a particular author, can rightly be concluded that his work 'Change' also greatly influenced the jury's decision.

Mo Yan is man of unusual biography, and his biography is the subject of this book, which although not very substantial in scale, is a rich source of information not only about the author's life, but also about everything that in the past 50 years occurred in China.

Yan, or Guan Moye which is his real name, was born into a family of farmers, and therefore the way that he had to go in life was not overly flamboyant; after in the age of twelve he drop out of school, Yan will start working in the factory and in the early twenties will join the army, which in China is (still) considered honorable profession. Due to life circumstances, Yan will start writing and almost illiterate boy with his works gradually will become more and more famous, first in China, and then beyond its borders which eventually led to the aforementioned winning of internationally esteemed literary prize.

At the time when his career started, the author has decided to change own name and with the new name, which in translation has ambiguous meaning - "do not speak" or "speechless" - the author sends a subtle message that in China (was) is dangerous talking too much, or that some things are best not to be commented.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Di on 16 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful little novel about the change with the Communist regime in China. I found it very interesting as I was also born in Communist times, Eastern Europe. The similarities between the life and childhood described in Change and the life I remember were strikingly strong. It is incredible to see how Communism could be the same in the Far East and Europe, in two otherwise completely different cultures. Of course today's Chinese communism has grown into being something different, a paradoxical one, a new Power. Very intersting and entertaining novel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A magnificent chronicle and often subtly pronounced criticism to Chinese society and ideology 16 Jun. 2014
By Denis Vukosav - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mo Yan is a Chinese writer who back in 2012 received the Nobel Prize for Literature, and although this award is not given for a particular work of literature, but for the entire oeuvre of a particular author, can rightly be concluded that his work 'Change' also greatly influenced the jury's decision.

Mo Yan is man of unusual biography, and his biography is the subject of this book, which although not very substantial in scale, is a rich source of information not only about the author's life, but also about everything that in the past 50 years occurred in China.

Yan, or Guan Moye which is his real name, was born into a family of farmers, and therefore the way that he had to go in life was not overly flamboyant; after in the age of twelve he drop out of school, Yan will start working in the factory and in the early twenties will join the army, which in China is (still) considered honorable profession. Due to life circumstances, Yan will start writing and almost illiterate boy with his works gradually will become more and more famous, first in China, and then beyond its borders which eventually led to the aforementioned winning of internationally esteemed literary prize.

At the time when his career started, the author has decided to change own name and with the new name, which in translation has ambiguous meaning - "do not speak" or "speechless" - the author sends a subtle message that in China (was) is dangerous talking too much, or that some things are best not to be commented.

However, particularly 'Change' was great chronicle, and often subtly pronounced criticism of Chinese society and ideology, in moments when the author innocuous at first glance, but between the lines very openly, criticizes the Chinese for example, poorly equipped army, the agony of Chinese peasants who are fighting for mere survival or pride that gives way to pragmatism.

Therefore it is not surprising that ratings of this book are very divided; for a large number of people, especially those who with this work for the first time encountered with the author, it is unclear due to what Yan deserved fame with this book, given that inside there are no exciting events, unbelievable turns or unexpected twists, and it seems that almost anyone could write a similar or perhaps even better story about own life.

However, with a more careful reading, more experienced reader will recognize the exceptional quality of style used by Chinese writer, and therefore are not surprising panegyrics which Yan received from fellow writers and critics around the world, calling him a Chinese Kafka or similar to William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez. The reason lies in the fact that Yan in the pages of his novel combines modern and traditional, rich Chinese history and folk tradition. And as he himself comes from the margins of Chinese society, in his story reader can feel that he understands and knows what he writes about - his characters are farmers, workers and all those who represent the real China, in contrast to colorful large Chinese cities in which long ago was lost a clear distinction between social systems.

Therefore, Mo Yan is definitely worth recommending for read, although for a wider audience would be maybe better to start journey through his works with some other titles such as 'Red Sorghum' or 'Big Breasts and Wide Hips', or ‘The Garlic Ballads" and "Life and Death are Wearing Me Out ', unless you speak Chinese, so you have the opportunity to dive into the literary wealth of this long-lived civilization in the original language.

As for this particular novel, 'Change' is the work that most readers will not delight, indeed many will be disappointed because it does not offer those components that are usually found in American literature, which gradually takes over the whole world, but those who give this novel a real opportunity might be pleasantly surprised.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Clive James of China 28 Dec. 2012
By T. Teh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my first Mo Yan book and I loved it from the first page. I have since bought another which I have just started to read and Mo Yan's distinctive style is immediately recognisable. I imagine him to speak the way he writes, just like Clive James. The Kid from Kogarah has a brother, the Kid from Gaomi County.

There was a review which tended to suggest there wasnt much written about communism. I wonder if that reviewer was referring to Changes. The behaviour of cadres, the collectives, and all the nuances and indicias of a country deep into experimental Maoist communism were unmistakable yet not at all in-your-face. What joy, thoroughly recommended!
Good!!! 24 Dec. 2012
By Heidy Leiva Henriquez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One nice lecture that permits to learn about Chinese changes. I recommend it and it's a good beginning of Mo Yan literature for me
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An interesting story 14 Nov. 2012
By Hian Hwee, Lim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One would expect Mo Yan to write some thing "technical" on his title, Change, with Communism. The thought is wrong.

The author has narrated changes with Communism his story telling "intrinsic-ally". I completed the reading in 2 hours and half time pondering "where did Mr Mo Yan talks about Communism". Little did I know when i review my thoughts, I see the habits (from Communism) exhibits its connections.

You must read it to know the humor, mocking and change.
The book seems like he just ripped out random sections in a hand ... 7 Dec. 2014
By sulli175 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book seems like he just ripped out random sections in a hand written journal and turned them into a short book. It just abruptly ends.
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