Our February 2023 choice is Cocoon by Zhang Yueran, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang (World Editions, paperback and eBook). We are delighted that Jeremy Tiang will join our discussion.
‘This novel by Zhang Yueran, a bestselling author in China from the “post-80s generation” – millennial to you and me – arrives in English on a wave of praise from Junot Díaz, Yan Lianke and Ian McEwan’ – John Self, Guardian
Cheng Gong and Li Jiaqi go way back. Both hailing from dysfunctional families, they grew up together in a Chinese provincial capital in the 1980s. Now, many years later, the childhood friends reunite and discover how much they still have in common. Both have always been determined to follow the tracks of their grandparents’ generation to the heart of a mystery that perhaps should have stayed buried. What exactly happened during that rainy night in 1967, in the abandoned water tower?
‘Zhang’s prose is meticulously economical and is well served by her long-term translator, Jeremy Tiang. In this expertly constructed novel she achieves a masterful blend of narrative suspense, emotional intimacy and self-discovery: as her characters struggle to recapture their childhood friendship’ – Isabel Hilton, Observer
Cocoon by Zhang Yueran, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang, is published in paperback and eBook by World Editions and is available from Litfest’s online bookshop.