Hard Like Water
by Yan Lianke
On his return to his village in the Balou Mountains, soldier Gao Aijun sees a young woman wandering barefoot along the railway tracks in the warm late-afternoon sun. Her name is Hongmei. Aijun is instantly intoxicated, his wife - waiting patiently for him at home - quickly forgotten.
Both Aijun and Hongmei hurl themselves into their town's revolutionary struggle. Spending their days and nights stamping out feudalism, writing pamphlets and organising rallies, they become inseparable: they are the engines of history.
The couple dig a 'tunnel of love' - to further the revolution, of course, but also to connect their homes and provide a chamber for their secret rendezvous. While the unsuspecting villagers sleep, they sing political songs and compete in shouting-matches of Maoist slogans before making earth-shattering love. But when Hongmei's husband finds them together one evening, their dreams of a life together begin to fall apart.
Hard Like Water is a novel of immense emotional force from one of China's greatest contemporary writers, a universal human drama about the nature of power and the dangers of hubris, as well as the freewheeling momentum of love and sexual desire.
Paperback: 432 Pages
Product Dimensions: 135 x 215 mm
Published by Chatto & Windus