Heart Sutra

Yan Lianke author Carlos Rojas translator


Publisher:Vintage Publishing

Published:16th Mar '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

Heart Sutra cover

Multi-prizewinning and internationally acclaimed Yan Lianke -- 'China's most controversial novelist' (New Yorker) -- returns with a campus novel like no other following a young Buddhist as she journeys through worldly temptation

To tell the truth, religious faith is really just a matter of believing stories. The world is governed by stories, and it is for the sake of stories that everyone lives on this earth.

Yahui is a young Buddhist at university. But this is no ordinary university. It is populated by every faith in China: Buddhists, Daoists, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims who jostle alongside one another in the corridors of learning, and whose deities are never far from the classroom.

Her days are measured out making elaborate religious papercuts, taking part in highly charged tug-of-war competitions between the faiths and trying to resist the daily temptation to return to secular life and abandon the ascetic ideals that are her calling. Everything seems to dangle by a thread. But when she meets a Daoist student called Mingzheng, an inexorable romance of mythic proportions takes hold of her.

In this profoundly otherworldly novel, Chinese master Yan Lianke remakes the campus novel in typically visionary fashion, dropping readers into an allegorical world ostensibly far from our own, but which reflects our own questions and struggles right back at us.

** Beautiful edition illustrated throughout with beautiful original papercuts **

'One of China's greatest living authors' Guardian

'His talent cannot be ignored' New York Times

'China's foremost literary satirist' Financial Times

Heart Sutra...has startling pleasures... similes are sharp, synaesthetic and anchored in the lives of the characters * The Telegraph *
Heart Sutra is a warm-hearted, if not gentle, satire that skewers religious institutions without mocking faith itself . . . A deeply satisfying read . . . Yan's storytelling has a luminous, irrepressible quality -- Lily Meyer * NPR *
Picaresque, but with serious matters of faith, love, and political wrangling at its fast-beating heart * Kirkus (starred review) *
Heart Sutra brings clarity to the dynamic and fraught relations between organised religion and the party on a broader scale and does not shy from difficult histories -- Bryan Karetnyk * Financial Times *
[An] otherworldly novel * Asian Art Newspaper, *Books of the Year* *

ISBN: 9781784744663

Dimensions: 234mm x 153mm x 30mm

Weight: 500g

416 pages