“If a successful novelist is one who tells us something new about the human spirit and a successful novel transports us to another world, then Gao and Soul Mountain have succeeded spectacularly.” — Washington Post Book World
An extraordinary work of immense wisdom and profound beauty by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
In 1983 Chinese playwright, critic, fiction writer, and painter Gao Xingjian was diagnosed with lung cancer and faced imminent death. But six weeks later, a second examination revealed the cancer was gone, and he was thrown back into the world of the living. Faced with a repressive cultural environment and the threat of a spell in a prison farm, Gao fled Beijing and began a journey of 15,000 kilometers over a period of five months. The result of this epic voyage of discovery is Soul Mountain.
A bold, lyrical, prodigious novel, Soul Mountain probes the human soul with an uncommon directness and candor. Interwoven with a myriad of stories and countless memorable characters—from venerable Daoist masters and Buddhist nuns to mythical Wild Men, deadly Qichun snakes, and farting buses—is the narrator's poignant inner journey and search for freedom.