Here, China's most controversial novelist takes as his subject the contemporary AIDS blood-contamination scandal in Henan province, where villagers were coerced into selling vast quantities of blood and then infected with the AIDS virus as they were injected with plasma to prevent anaemia. Whole villages were wiped out in this way, with no responsibility taken or reparation made. The Dream of Ding Village focuses on one village, and the story of one family, torn apart when one son rises to the top of the Party pile as he exploits the situation, while another is infected and dies. Narrated by a dead boy and written in finely crafted, affecting prose, the novel presents a powerful absurdist allegory of the moral vacuum at the heart of Communist-capitalist China as it traces the life and death of an entire community. 'I come from the bottom of society. All my relatives live in Henan, one of the poorest areas of China. When I think of people's situation there, it is impossible not to feel angry and emotional. Anger and passion are the soul of my work.' Yan Lianke

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