A mystifying climatic incongruity begins the award-winning novel "Lenin s Kisses"an absurdist, tragicomic masterpiece set in modern day China. Nestled deep within the Balou mountains, spared from the government s watchful eye, the harmonious people of Liven had enough food and leisure to be fully content. But when their crops and livelihood are obliterated by a seven-day snowstorm in the middle of a sweltering summer, a county official arrives with a lucrative scheme both to raise money for the district and boost his career. The majority of the 197 villagers are disabled, and he convinces them to start a traveling performance troupe highlighting such acts as One-Eye s one-eyed needle threading. With the profits from this extraordinary show, he intends to buy Lenin s embalmed corpse from Russia and install it in a grand mausoleum to attract tourism, in the ultimate marriage of capitalism and communism. However, the success of the Shuanghuai County Special-Skills Performance Troupe comes at a serious price.
Yan Lianke, one of China s most distinguished writerswhose works often push the envelope of his country s censorship systemdelivers a humorous, daring, and riveting portrait of the trappings and consequences of greed and corruption at the heart of humanity."