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The Day the Sun Died by Yan Lianke (review)

The Day the Sun Died by Yan Lianke (review) devoted, financially comfortable, warm-hearted, lusty people like David and Marilyn to thrive, and indeed ripen, over forty years. It takes a full narrative investment and structural somersaults to sell this unlikely theme (imagine that: love wins!), but Lombardo pulls it o√ —and magnificently. Yan Lianke, tr. Carlos Rojas. The Day the Sun Died. Grove Press. reviewed by graham oliver. In the Chinese village of Gaotian, on a night during the wheat harvest, the villagers rise from their sleep as dreamwalkers. This single night is the subject of Yan Lianke’s latest novel to be translated into English, The Day the Sun Died. The story is narrated by self-proclaimed idiot Li Niannian, the son of the funer- ary store owners, whose family seems to be one of the few una√ected by the somnambulism plague. Characters can’t tell who is dreamwalking and who is awake, and sometimes readers can’t tell either. Dreamwalking lowers inhibi- tions, and people begin acting out their desires, both conscious and unconscious. For many this means simply spending the night harvesting wheat in case it rains the next day or eating extravagant meals, but others turn to darker acts. The night is filled with theft, gluttony, obsession, and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Prairie Schooner University of Nebraska Press

The Day the Sun Died by Yan Lianke (review)

Prairie Schooner , Volume 93 (3) – Dec 21, 2019

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Nebraska Press.
ISSN
1542-426X

Abstract

devoted, financially comfortable, warm-hearted, lusty people like David and Marilyn to thrive, and indeed ripen, over forty years. It takes a full narrative investment and structural somersaults to sell this unlikely theme (imagine that: love wins!), but Lombardo pulls it o√ —and magnificently. Yan Lianke, tr. Carlos Rojas. The Day the Sun Died. Grove Press. reviewed by graham oliver. In the Chinese village of Gaotian, on a night during the wheat harvest, the villagers rise from their sleep as dreamwalkers. This single night is the subject of Yan Lianke’s latest novel to be translated into English, The Day the Sun Died. The story is narrated by self-proclaimed idiot Li Niannian, the son of the funer- ary store owners, whose family seems to be one of the few una√ected by the somnambulism plague. Characters can’t tell who is dreamwalking and who is awake, and sometimes readers can’t tell either. Dreamwalking lowers inhibi- tions, and people begin acting out their desires, both conscious and unconscious. For many this means simply spending the night harvesting wheat in case it rains the next day or eating extravagant meals, but others turn to darker acts. The night is filled with theft, gluttony, obsession, and

Journal

Prairie SchoonerUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Dec 21, 2019

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