Multi-time candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Yu Hua (Hangozu, 1960) is one of the greatest Chinese authors of his generation. After studying medicine, he took his first steps on the avant-garde literary scene and wrote several experimental stories, some of which are featured in the Italian collection "Torture" (1997). He gained international recognition with the novel "To Live" (1992), thanks to an intense and painful narrative set in China during the Communist Revolution. The novel owes part of its popularity to the film of the same name adapted by Zhang Yimou, with the unforgettable interpretations by Li Gong and Ge You as the protagonists. His narrative style is often marked by violence as a form of expression, with an emphasis on the crisis of traditional values and an open criticism of the apparatus of power. Equally fierce is his dissection of Chinese socialist capitalism, as evidenced in the works "Chronicle of a Blood Merchant" (1999), whose protagonist is forced to sell his blood to meet the needs of his family, as the recent "Seventh Day" (2017), the journey of a dead man awaiting cremation among the grotesque aberrations of contemporary China.
(photo: © Giovanni Giovannetti - Effigie)