Beijing Coma is Ma Jian’s masterpiece. Spiked with dark wit, poetic beauty and deep rage, it takes the life, and near-death, of one young student to create a dazzling and excoriating novel about contemporary China.
Dai Wei lies in his bedroom, a prisoner in his body, after he was shot in the head at the Tiananmen Square protest ten years earlier and left in a coma. As his mother tends to him, and his friends bring news of their lives in an almost unrecognisable China, Dai Wei escapes into his memories, weaving together the events that took him from his harsh childhood in the last years of the Cultural Revolution to his student days at Beijing University.
As the minute-by-minute chronicling of the lead-up to his shooting becomes ever more intense, the reader is caught in a gripping, emotional journey where the boundaries between life and death are increasingly blurred.
‘An epic yet intimate work that deserves to be recognised and to endure as the great Tiananmen novel… A magnificent book brim-full of humanity, insight and humour’ Financial Times
‘A landmark work of fiction’ Daily Telegraph
‘A modern literary masterpiece’ Sunday Express