Su Tong

The Boat to Redemption
  • The Boat to Redemption

  • 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 . . .

Born in 1963 in Suzhou and now living in Beijing with his family, Su Tong is one of China's most celebrated bestselling authors, shooting to international fame in 1993 when Zhang Yimou's film of his novella Raise the Red Lantern was nominated for an Oscar. His first short story collection, Madwoman on the Bridge was published by Black Swan in 2008. Translator Howard Goldblatt is Research Professor at the University of Notre Dame. He is the recipient of two translation fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and has been awarded the Translation of the Year Prize from the American Literary Translators Association and the Man Asian Literary Prize.

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