THE EMPTY NEST
The novel tells the story of an eighty-year-old Chinese widow living alone in her home – her “empty nest” – who receives a phone call from people pretending to be from the Public Security Bureau who trick her into transferring them a large sum of money.
The narrative takes place over the following twenty-four hours and the widow’s gradual realisation that she has been conned as she thinks back to events in her life, which are intimately tied up with China’s recent turbulent history.
The main role in the film is played by Zhu Xijuan, a superstar of 1960s in China, whose role in Red Detachment of Women was familiar to every Chinese back then.
Publisher: East China Normal University Press, China 2014
‘A maverick of contemporary Chinese literature.’
– Ha Jin, author of twenty acclaimed books in Chinese.
Xue Yiwei, born in China, grew up during the Cultural Revolution and has lived through the miraculous transformation of his motherland in the last quarter of the century.
The English version of Dr. Bethune’s Children, a novel banned in China, was released in 2017 and has since drawn international attention along along with Shenzheners, dubbed the Dubliners of modern China.
He has lived in Montreal since 2002.
Metaphors in Montreal – a David Gutnick documentary (CBC Radio)
Coincidences and Transcendental Experiences (Montreal Review of Books)
Montreal’s Chinese Literary Secret is Finally Out (Montreal Gazette)