Geling Yan

Little Aunt Crane
  • Little Aunt Crane

  • In the last days of World War II, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria has collapsed. As the Chinese move in, the elders of the Japanese settler village of Sakito decide to preserve their honour by killing all the villagers in an act of mass suicide. Only 16-year-old Tatsuru escapes.

    But Tatsuru's trials have just begun. As she flees, she falls into the hands of human traffickers. She is sold to a wealthy Chinese family, where she becomes Duohe - the clandestine second wife to the only son, and the secret bearer of his children. Against all odds, Duohe forms an unlikely friendship with the first wife Xiaohuan, united by the unshakeable bonds of motherhood and family.

    Spanning several tumultuous decades of Mao’s rule, Little Aunt Crane is a novel about love, bravery and survival, and how humanity endures in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Geling Yan is one of the most acclaimed contemporary novelists and screenwriters in the Chinese language today and a well-established writer in English. Born in Shanghai in 1959, she served with the People’s Liberation Army during the Cultural Revolution, starting aged 12 as a dancer in an entertainment troupe. She published her first novel in 1986 and since then has written over 20 books and won over 30 awards. Her works have been translated into twelve languages, several have been adapted for screen, the latest being The Flowers of War, which was filmed by Zhang Yimou and stars Christian Bale. Geling Yan currently divides her time between Berlin and China.