Shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize 2016
In the ninety-ninth district of a sprawling labour camp, the Author, Musician, Scholar, Theologian and Technician - and hundreds just like them - are undergoing Re-education, to restore their revolutionary zeal and credentials. In charge of this process is the Child, who delights in draconian rules, monitoring behaviour and confiscating treasured books.
But when bad weather arrives, followed by the ‘three bitter years’, the intellectuals are abandoned by the regime and left on their own to survive. Divided into four narratives, The Four Books tells the story of the Great Famine, one of China’s most devastating and controversial periods.