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Where the Sea Stands Still

By (author) Lian Yang, Yang Lian
Translated by Brian Holton
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Published: 29th Apr 1999
Dimensions: w 157mm h 234mm d 14mm
Weight: 366g
ISBN-10: 1852244712
ISBN-13: 9781852244712
Barcode No: 9781852244712

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Kirkus US
Yang Lian is perhaps the foremost of the new generation of Chinese poets whose forcible exile from their native land has had the happy, if unintended, effect of bringing them to the attention of more Western readers than they could ever have reached from home. Forbidden to publish in China after 1983, Yang Lian was expelled in the wake of the Tiananmen massacre and now lives in London. Holton's edition is laid out in facing-page translations that will be much appreciated by scholars while also giving the impression of a samizdat (which, in a sense, it is). The omnipresent gloom of the poems themselves ("your standstill is as full as the ocean's madness / the fullness of solitude makes an ear think long / in every dry shell predators have been drained of fresh blood") never descends into rant or bitterness, and there their harsh fortitude ("see this joy / a dog tricked into running madly away") owes as much to Chinese tradition as to politics. Holton's afterword provides a good insight into Yang Lian and his work. (Kirkus Reviews)