Ninth Building by Jingzhi Zou
Ninth Building is a fascinating collection of vignettes drawn from Zou Jingzhi’s experience growing up during the Cultural Revolution, first as a boy in Beijing and then as a teenager exiled to the countryside. Zou poetically captures a side of the Cultural Revolution that is less talked about—the sheer tedium and waste of young life, as well as the gallows humor that accompanies such desperate situations. Jeremy Tiang’s enthralling translation of this important work of fiction was awarded a PEN/Heim Grant.
Zou Jingzhi is highly regarded in China as a fiction writer, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. He is a founding member of the Chinese theatre collective Longmashe. As a screenwriter, the films he wrote for Zhang Yimou and Wong Kar Wai have been well received at film festivals across the world. His plays and operas have been performed in China as well as internationally, and his poems and essays have been very influential, going into multiple reprints.
Jeremy Tiang has translated over twenty books from Chinese, including novels by Yan Ge, Yeng Pway Ngon, Zhang Yueran, Shuang Xuetao, Lo Yi-Chin, Chan Ho-Kei, and Geling Yan. His novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. He also writes and translates plays. Originally from Singapore, he now lives in New York City.