Serve the People! This searing satire of Communist China, circa 1967, has been banned there for supposed slander of Mao and the army, not to mention its sex… Serve the People! This searing satire of Communist China, circa 1967, has been banned there for supposed slander of Mao and the army, not to mention its sex… 2008-02-18 Comic Novels Fiction History Grove Press
Book Review

Serve the People! (2008)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Feb 18, 2008; Writer: Yan Lianke; Genres: Comic Novels, Fiction, History; Publisher: Grove Press

This searing satire of Communist China, circa 1967, has been banned there for supposed slander of Mao and the army, not to mention its sex content! While the political sentiments are unlikely to shock a Westerner, the love story at the center — about a servant who hooks up with the wife of his high-ranking boss — is a universal depiction of passion's irrationality and pain. ''Perhaps, in very particular circumstances,'' Yan Lianke writes, ''emotional truth can shine only through the curtain of farce'' — something Serve the People! achieves with deft humor and great elegance. B+

Originally posted Mar 21, 2008 Published in issue #984 Mar 28, 2008 Order article reprints
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