The reality of life in China today contrasts with the sunny optimism of the 'Chinese dream' in this gripping, gruesome dystopia from 'one of the masters of modern Chinese literature' (Jung Chang)
One dusk in early June, in a town deep in the Balou mountains, fourteen-year-old Li Niannian notices that something strange is going on. As the residents would usually be settling down for the night, instead they start appearing in the streets and fields. There are people everywhere.
Li Niannian watches, mystified. But then he realises the people are dreamwalking, carrying on with their daily business as if the sun hadn't already gone down. And before too long, as more and more people succumb, in the black of night all hell breaks loose.
Set over the course of one night, The Day the Sun Died pits chaos and darkness against the sunny optimism of the 'Chinese dream' promoted by President Xi Jinping. We are thrown into the middle of an increasingly strange and troubling waking nightmare as Li Niannian and his father struggle to save the town, and persuade the beneficent sun to rise again.
Praise for Yan Lianke's books
'Nothing short of a masterpiece' Guardian
'A hyper-real tour de force, a blistering condemnation of political corruption and excess' Financial Times
'Mordant satire from a brave fabulist' Daily Mail
'Exuberant and imaginative' Sunday Times
'I can think of few better novelists than Yan, with his superlative gifts for storytelling and penetrating eye for truth' New York Times Book Review
"A winner of the Kafka Prize and a frequently cited contender for the Nobel, Yan is one of those rare geniuses who finds in the peculiar absurdities of his own culture the absurdities that infect all cultures" Ron Charles Washington Post
Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Henan Province, China. He is the author of numerous novels and short-story collections, including Serve the People!, Dream of Ding Village, Lenin's Kisses, The Four Books and The Explosion Chronicles. He has been awarded the Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize, the Lao She Literary Award, the Dream of the Red Chamber Award and the Franz Kafka Prize. He has also been shortlisted for an array of prizes including the International Man Booker Prize, the Principe de Asturias Prize for Letters, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the FT/Oppenheimer Fund Emerging Voices Award and the Prix Femina Etranger. The Day the Sun Died won the Dream of the Red Chamber Award for the World's Most Distinguished Novel in Chinese. He lives and writes in Beijing.