Points of Origin
Author: Diao Dou
Translator: Brendan O'Kane
Original language: Chinese
Published by: Comma Press, 2015
Diao Dou’s short stories perform a kind of high-wire literary acrobatics; each one executes an immaculate mid-air transition, from closely observed social realism to surrealist parody, and back again. Covering all aspects of modern Chinese life – from the high-minded morals of an emerging middle class, to the vividly remembered hardships of an all-too-recent collectivist past – these stories offer a very particular window into the contemporary Chinese psyche, and show a culture struggling to keep pace with the extraordinary transformations that have befallen it in the space of a single lifetime.