Zhou Daxin was born in 1952 in Dengzhou, Henan. Since first publishing in 1979 he has won the National Excellent Short Story Prize, the Feng Mu Prize and the Mao Dun Literature Prize. Many of his works have been adapted into plays, television series, movies and radio plays. Some works have been translated into English, French, German, Japanese, Czech and Korean. He currently lives and writes in Beijing. His works include the novels Out of the Basin, Twentieth Act, Legends of War, and Warning. The novella Sesame Oil Mill On The Banks was filmed as Les Femmes du lac aux ames parfumées and won the 43rd Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear Award.
The fateful story begins with Nuannuan, the youthful villager called home from the city to care for her mother. Upon her return, Nuannuan forges ahead with plans to invigorate the rural village with new enterprises and business. As the sublime image of a woman in the eyes of the village men, village chief Zhan Shideng plans to marry Nuannuan to his younger brother, however, her refusal and subsequent elopement with the desperately poor young man Kuang Kaitian brings on the full wrath of the rampant chief. Worldly, resilient and spirited, Nuannuan must contend with those that transpire around her as she marches on to the beat of her own drum.
A tragic tale not without warmth, the author provides unique perspectives on rural life in China, at once scratching into the surface layers of the monumental changes brought by modernity, and then taking us deep into the core structure of a village governed by stiff tradition and the ardours of change.
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