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The Boat to Redemption

SU Tong
Black Swan
200 x 130mm
In Stock To be dispatched within 1 business day
£9.99 £9.99
Disgraced Secretary Ku has been banished from the Party - it has been officially proved he does not have a fish-shaped birthmark on his bottom and is therefore not the son of a revolutionary martyr, but the issue of a river pirate and a prostitute. Mocked by the citizens of Milltown, Secretary Ku leaves the shore for a new life among the boat people on a fleet of industrial barges. Refusing to renounce his high status, he maintains a distance - with Dongliang, his teenage son - from the gossipy lowlifes who surround him.

One day a feral little girl, Huixian, arrives looking for her mother, who has jumped to her death in the river. The boat people, and especially Dongliang, take her to their hearts. But Huixian sows conflict wherever she goes, and soon Dongliang is in the grip of an obsession for her. He takes on Life, Fate and the Party in the only way he knows . . .
Written by Su Tong, a new-generation writer who seemed to have left the traditional Chinese literary traditions behind and embraced a creative, provocative style, this novel is the masterpiece that won Su Tong the 2009 Man Asian Literary Prize. The scene is set during the cultural revolution. Ku Wenxue is an influential party official until he is found to have no fish-shaped birthmark on his bottom, meaning that he is not the son of a revolutionary martyr. He embarks on an adventure with his son Dongliang on a barge fleet among a group of ostracised boat people, and starts a new life on an unknown journey onboard. The story depicts the rootless lives, love and desire, the mental struggle between reality and man's ego, and the seemingly ludicrousness of the nation's then social and political values.