The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke, translated by Carlos Rojas, published by Chatto & Windus, has been long listed for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize - see previous post for more on the prize.
With the Yi River on one side and the Balou Mountains on the other, the village of Explosion was founded a thousand years ago by refugees fleeing a volcanic eruption. But in the post-Mao era, the name takes on a new significance as the rural community grows explosively from a small village to a town to a city to a vast megalopolis.
Behind this rapid expansion are three rival clans linked together by a web of ambition, madness and greed. They transform their hometown into a Babylon of modern times – an unrivalled urban superpower built on lies, sex and thievery.
Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Henan Province, China. He is the author of numerous novels and short-story collections, including Serve the People!, Dream of Ding Village, Lenin's Kisses and The Four Books. He has been awarded the Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize, the Lao She Literary Award and the Franz Kafka Prize, whose previous winners include Vaclav Havel, John Banville and Harold Pinter. He has also been shortlisted for an array of prizes including the Man Booker International Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Prix Femina. He currently lives and writes in Beijing.