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  • Published: 31 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781407018928
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 688

Beijing Coma




'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' Financial Times

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

'Monumental' Guardian

'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

  • Published: 31 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781407018928
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 688

About the author

Ma Jian

Ma Jian was born in Qingdao, China. He is the author of seven novels, a travel memoir, three story collections and two essay collections. He has been translated into twenty-six languages. Since the publication of his first book in 1987, all his work has been banned in China. He now lives in exile in London

Also by Ma Jian

See all

Praise for Beijing Coma

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

James Kynge, Financial Times

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

Tash Aw, Daily Telegraph

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

Jonathan Fenby, The Times

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’

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Monumental...riveting. This vivid, pungent, often blackly funny book is a mighty gesture of remembrance against the encroaching forces of silence

James Lasdun, Guardian

Powerful and exhilirating... Simultaneously a large-scale portrait of citizens writing in the grip of the party and the state and a strikingly intimate study of the fragility of the body and the persistence of self and memory

Chandrahas Choudhury, Observer

A modern literary masterpiece ... Ma Jian has created an intense, passionate and painful-to-read parable for today.. The elegant and bravura writing of Ma Jian is utterly convincing

Sunday Express

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

Financial Times

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

Daily Telegraph

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

The Times

A modern literary masterpiece ... Ma Jian has created an intense, passionate and painful-to-read parable for today.. The elegant and bravura writing of Ma Jian is utterly convincing

Sunday Express

Monumental... splendidly translated by Flora Drew... This vivid, pungent, often blackly funny book is a mighty gesture of remembrance against the encroaching forces of silence

Guardian

This landmark novel by a dissident in exile has already claimed a place as a classic work of witness

Independent

This magnificent novel generously invites us to improve our understanding in many ways

Sunday Times

Simultaneously a large-scale portrait of citizens writing in the grip of the party and the state and a strikingly intimate study of the fragility of the body and the persistence of self and memory

Observer

The picture of China, over a span of some fifty years, is intricate and vivid .. a remarkable book .. the effect is extraordinarily tense, a gradual implacable build-up to disaster, matched by the equally relentless progress of the hero towards his own death

Literary Review

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