A satirical novel set in 1967 China from the Franz Kafka Prize-winning author of Lenin’s Kiss—“one of China’s greatest living authors” (The Guardian).
Serve the People! is the story of a forbidden love affair between Liu Lian, the young wife of a Division Commander in Communist China, and a servant in her household, Wu Dawang. Left to idle at home while her husband furthers the revolution, Liu Lian establishes a rule for her orderly: whenever the household’s wooden Serve the People! sign is removed from its usual place on the dinner table and placed elsewhere, Wu Dawang is to stop what he is doing and attend to her needs upstairs. What follows is a “steamy and subversive” story and comic satire on Mao’s slogan and the political and sexual taboos of his regime (The Guardian).
Originally banned in China, Serve the People! is the first work from Yan Lianke to be translated into English, and “a scathing sendup of life in 1960s China during the chaos of the country’s Cultural Revolution” (LA Times).