To Live

To Live

From the author of Brothers and China in Ten Words this celebrated contemporary classic of Chinese literature was also adapted for film by Zhang Yimou. This searing novel, originally banned in China but later named one of that nation's most influential books, portrays one man's transformation from the spoiled son of a landlord to a kindhearted peasant. After squandering his family's fortune in gambling dens and brothels, the young, deeply penitent Fugui settles down to do the honest work of a farmer. Forced by the Nationalist Army to leave behind his family, he witnesses the horrors and privations of the Civil War, only to return years later to face a string of hardships brought on by the ravages of the Cultural Revolution. Left with an ox as the companion of his final years, Fugui stands as a model of gritty authenticity, buoyed by his appreciation for life in this narrative of humbling power.

Title:To Live
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781400031863
Format Type:

    To Live Reviews

  • Praj

    It had been slightly more than 14 hours since my stomach had its last morsel of food. Compared to those numerous stomachs that for months become a perfect stranger to the concept of food, a mere 14 ho...

  • Michael

    A spare and wrenching tale of rural life in China and the tragedies of one family’s survival of the social and economic hardships associated with the Nationalist Revolution and later the Communist C...

  • Lynn

    First off, I want to thank my friend Issa for recommending this book to me. Secondly, in order for me to rate a book as five stars, it has to be well-written, grip me, intrigue me and touch my heart. ...

  • Kay

    I was surprised to see that Yu Hua wrote this. My first and most lasting impression of Yu Hua is The Past and the Punishments, an excruciatingly gruesome novel with poignant political commentary. Thou...

  • Alex

    The last of my Fall 2017 Best Of Chinese Literature project; more here, and a cool list of books here.I had been wondering where the great literature of parenting was. Western novels are often about c...

  • Dominic

    THE GOOD: At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book or not.The story of "To Live" is really a sad one, but a realistic one at the same time. Life is suffering, and nobody seems to suffe...

  • Kalena

    Honestly one of the best books I have read. I had to read this for a college level World Lit class and fell into the book really quickly. The characters are believable. They are flawed and broken and ...

  • Sieran

    I read the original Chinese version by the way, so it might have had a different effect on me.It's so touching. ^^ Feels like I just lived a whole life after reading this. I also really love that phil...

  • Louis

    Yu Hua's novel, To Live, is truly a great piece. As great writing should do, Yu does a nice job of helping the reader get a bit of a feel of what it was like to live in rural China around the time of ...

  • Murtaza

    A very moving, short novel about one man's life during the upheavals of 20th century China. I love political novels, and though I'd argue in this one the politics serves mainly as a backdrop, it does ...