Jia's novel: Spotlight on rural pain

Updated: 2016-04-20 08:18

By Yang Yang(China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small

Jia's novel: Spotlight on rural pain

An English translation of the novel, published in 1991, was also done by Goldblatt. It won the Pegasus Prize for Literature in 1987.

Turbulence tells the story of protagonist Jin Gou's life through his many experiences-working on a farm, joining the army, returning to the countryside, working as a reporter and in the transport business. The book captures a changing Shangzhou city in Shaanxi in the 1980s, a time of extraordinary excitement due to the country's reform and opening-up. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Several years ago, in many remote villages in Shaanxi, the number of residents fell so much that the villages were merged into one.

"The villages need to survive, but there are very few young people left because they all go to big cities to look for income opportunities. There are almost no women (in the villages)," he says.

Many women who go to the cities with their husbands either divorce or abandon them fearing the prospect of returning to the poor villages.

"In the past, Chinese literature either criticized or praised life in rural areas. But now it's impossible to do so," says Jia.

"Watching the situation arouses an unspeakable pain, just like the pain felt when a couple that has lost their only child sees a neighbor's child. It's a pain only the couple knows."