The Book of Sins
Author: Chen Xiwo
Translator: Nicky Harman
Original language: Chinese
Published by: Make Do Publishing, 2014
The Book of Sins is a journey to the dark side of the psyche. Seven novellas probe the relationship between sexual and political dysfunction and corruption, using topics like rape, incest, S&M, impotence, and voyeurism as metaphors for the decay of society.
In I Love My Mum, a disabled man who is in an incestuous relationship with his mother, at her demand and using a whip she provides, beats her to death.
In Bin Laden’s Kidney, a resident of an exclusive gated community indulges in voyeuristic fantasies about the sex life of his neighbours.
In Going To Heaven, the young son of a village undertaker tries to convince his friend to enter a suicide pact.
Described as ‘one of China’s most outspoken voices on freedom of expression for writers’ by Asia Sentinel, literature professor Chen Xiwo caused a sensation by suing the Chinese government after they banned the book many consider to be his masterpiece.
Equal parts terrifying and addictive, this fluent English translation by Nicky Harman of The Book of Sins will bring a major writer and dissident voice to wider prominence.