Yan Lianke--"China's most feted and most banned author" ( Financial Times )--is a master of imaginative satire, and his prize-winning works have been published around the world to the highest honors. Now, his two most acclaimed novellas are collected here in a single volume--masterfully crafted stories that explore the sacrifices made for family, the driving will to survive, and the longing to leave behind a personal legacy.
Marrow is the haunting tale of a widow who goes to extremes to provide a normal life for her four disabled children. When she discovers that bones--especially those of kin--can cure their illnesses and prevent future generations from the same fate, she feeds them a medicinal soup made from the skeleton of her dead husband. But after running out of soup, she resorts to a measure that only a mother can take.
In the luminous, moving title story, The Years, Months, Days --a bestselling, classic fable in China, and winner of the prestigious Lu Xun Literary Prize--an elderly man stays behind in his small village after a terrible drought forces everyone to leave. Unable to make the grueling march through the mountains, he becomes the lone inhabitant, along with a blind dog. As he fends off the natural world from overtaking his hometown, every day is a victory over death.
With touches of the fantastical and with deep humanity, these two magnificent novellas--masterpieces of the short form--reflect the universality of mankind's will to live, live well, and live with purpose.