Chi Zijian

The Last Quarter of the Moon
  • The Last Quarter of the Moon

  • ‘A long-time confidante of the rain and snow, I am ninety years old. The rain and snow have weathered me, and I too have weathered them’.

    At the end of the twentieth-century an old woman sits among the birch trees and thinks back over her life, her loves, and the joys and tragedies that have befallen her family and her people. She is a member of the Evenki tribe who wander the remote forests of north-eastern China with their herds of reindeer, living in close sympathy with nature at its most beautiful and cruel.

    An idyllic childhood playing by the river ends with her father’s death and the growing realisation that her mother’s and uncle’s relationship is not as simple as she thought. Then, in the 1930s, the intimate, secluded world of the tribe is shattered when the Japanese army invades China. The Evenki cannot avoid being pulled into the brutal conflict which marks the first step towards the end of their isolation…

    In The Last Quarter of the Moon, prize-winning novelist Chi Zijian, creates a dazzling epic about an extraordinary woman bearing witness not just to the stories of her tribe but also to the transformation of China.

Chi Zijian was born in Mohe in 1964. She started writing while at school and had her first story published in Northern Literature magazine when she was at college. She is the only writer to have won the Lu Xun Literary Award three times. The Last Quarter of the Moon also won the Mao Dun Literary Award. Her work has been translated into many languages.