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A Yi is a Chinese writer living in Beijing. He worked as a police officer before becoming editor-in-chief of Chutzpah. He is the author of two collections of short stories and has published fiction in Granta and the Guardian. In 2010 he was shortlisted for the People's Literature Top 20 Literary Giants of the Future. Anna Holmwood translates literature from Chinese and Swedish to English. She was awarded one of the first British Centre for Literary Translation mentorship awards and she co-founded the Emerging Translators' Network. In 2012 she was elected to the UK Translators Association committee.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A rare example of contemporary Chinese crime fiction, this harrowing but precise tale carries echoes of Dostoyevsky and offers often disturbing insights into what makes Chinese society tick. A disaffected high school student plans a perfect murder. He lures a beautiful young violin player to his home and, in cold blood, strangles her before briefly going on the run. Uneasy with his situation, he soon engineers matters so he is caught by the authorities and thereafter meticulously, and without the slightest shred of remorse, plots to fight the state, psychologists assigned to his case, family and the law to escape the inevitable death penalty. A brutal X-ray of the pressures inherent in Chinese society and the despair that controls it, this is also a compelling read and an eye-opener into a world which is not as unfamiliar as we first think and displays an ironic resonance with our own reality. Challenging but rewarding. ~ Maxim Jakubowski