Red Sorghum

Front Cover
Arrow, Jan 1, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 377 pages
259 Reviews

Spanning three generations, this novel of family and myth is told through a series of flashbacks that depict events of staggering horror set against a landscape of gemlike beauty as the Chinese battle both the Japanese invaders and each other in the turbulent 1930s.

As the novel opens, a group of villagers, led by Commander Yu, the narrator's grandfather, prepare to attack the advancing Japanese. Yu sends his 14-year-old son back home to get food for his men; but as Yu's wife returns through the sorghum fields with the food, the Japanese start firing and she is killed.

Her death becomes the thread that links the past to the present and the narrator moves back and forth recording the war's progress, the fighting between the Chinese warlords and his family's history.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

The writing was choppy, not contextual. - Goodreads
Beautiful and poetic writing. - Goodreads
Liked it but difficult to read... - Goodreads
Magnificent writing. - Goodreads
Red Sorghum was full of plot twists and turns. - Goodreads
Mo Yan's ground-up depiction of thi - Goodreads

Review: Red Sorghum

User Review  - Jamie - Goodreads

I picked up this book after going through the controversies around Mo Yan's winning the Nobel prize. Putting those discussions aside, I decided to go and read "Red Sorghum" for myself (at least in ... Read full review

Review: Red Sorghum

User Review  - Jie - Goodreads

A story about an independent woman from Shandong province. Read full review

About the author (2003)

Mo Yan was born in 1956 in Shandong, northeastern China. The author of over forty short stories and five novels, he is the most critically acclaimed Chinese writer of his generation, in both China and the West. The critically acclaimed film version of the novel, Red Sorghum, won first prize in the Golden Bear Awards at the Berlin Film Festival in 1988.

He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2012.

Bibliographic information