Trilogy Set on Yunnan-Tibetan Border

All three of the novels in Fan Wen’s trilogy set on the Yunnan-Tibetan border in the 19-20th centuries are now available — in one form or another:

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My favorite so far was the first novel in the trilogy, Shuǐ rǔ dàdì (at right), which I described thusly in my interview with the author (A Century of Cultural Collisions in Shangri-la):

[Shuǐ rǔ dàdì] . . . tells the tale of a multi-ethnic settlement in Lancangjiang Canyon — Gateway to Tibet — beset by battles between arrogant French Catholic missionaries, incompetent Han officials and their marauding troops, Naxi Dongba Shamanists, and the dominant Tibetans, not all of whom lead pacific, vegetarian lives in the local lamasery.

But the newest of the novels to be published (translated by Shelly Bryant), is Land of Mercy. Marcia Johnson in Shanghai has written to mention that she bought the Kindle version, is enjoying it, and notes that several of the chapters include “Field Notes” by the author about how he — a devout Catholic convert raised in Sichuan — came to “learn about some of the seemingly magical elements he weaves into his tale.”

See here for an interview in French with the translator of Terre de lait et de miel.

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One thought on “Trilogy Set on Yunnan-Tibetan Border

  1. I read his new novel 吾血吾土 (Wu xue wu tu) and did a review here: “Wu xue wu tu” is not religious at all. All about blood shed, crawling in decaying corpses at battle front, and endless political persecutions. What I like the most is how the author makes an enigma of the hero, peeling away so many aliases linked to parts of his eventful life. And if you read carefully, there is at least one line hidden deep in the story making satire on today’s society.


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