REPUBLISHED ON THE 30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIANANMEN MASSACRE, WITH A NEW AFTERWORD FROM THE AUTHOR AND A NEW COVER BY AI WEIWEI
Beijing Coma is Ma Jian’s masterpiece. Spiked with dark wit, poetic beauty and deep rage, it takes the life, and near-death, of one young student to create a dazzling and excoriating novel about contemporary China
‘A landmark work of fiction’ Daily Telegraph
‘A modern literary masterpiece’ Sunday Express
Dai Wei lies in his bedroom, a prisoner in his body, after he was shot in the head at the Tiananmen Square protest ten years earlier and left in a coma. As his mother tends to him, and his friends bring news of their lives in an almost unrecognisable China, Dai Wei escapes into his memories, weaving together the events that took him from his harsh childhood in the last years of the Cultural Revolution to his student days at Beijing University.
As the minute-by-minute chronicling of the lead-up to his shooting becomes ever more intense, the reader is caught in a gripping, emotional journey where the boundaries between life and death are increasingly blurred.
‘Beijing Coma is one of the finest and most important novels to have been written in this century’ Chris Patten
This is an epic yet intimate work that deserves to be recognised and to endure as the great Tiananmen novel ... a magnificent book brim-full of humanity, insight and humour ... beautifully translated by Flora Drew
Once in a while - perhaps every 10 years, or even every generation - a novel appears that profoundly questions the way we look at the world, and at ourselves. Beijing Coma is a poetic examination not just of a country at a defining moment in its history, but of the universal right to remember and to hope. It is, in every sense, a landmark work of fiction
A huge achievement ... a landmark account through fiction of a country whose rise has amazed the world, but which remains cloaked in shadows... finely written and translated
In scene after scene of black satire, lyric tenderness and desolating tragedy…this fearless epic of history and memory establishes the exiled Ma Jian as the Solzhenitsyn of China’s forgetful drive towards world-domination’
Monumental...riveting. This vivid, pungent, often blackly funny book is a mighty gesture of remembrance against the encroaching forces of silence