Brothers: A Novel

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Eventually, the expansion of his business leads him to become one of China's richest men. Given all the situations and circumstances Song Gang experiences within his life, he decides to commit suicide by lying in front of a passing train. In the end, Baldy Li decides to go to space along with Song Gang's bone ash in commemoration for his brother. Yu Hua began to write novels again in and originally wanted to write a ,word family novel, but later stopped when he reached somewhere near , After a seven-month trip to the United States, he was inspired by a news story where a Chinese migrant worker attempted to commit suicide by climbing up to the top of a tower, and a crowd emerged to try to come up with a solution to rescue him.

Yu Hua perceived this to be a topic that he could expand on, but the work eventually evolved into the novel Brothers. He also mentioned that the scene where Song Fanping was being beaten to death, was influenced by his own witness of an individual being beaten to death by the head of the revolutionary committee. Yu Hua revisits themes of death, violence, and family that he has touched on in his earlier works.

This also demonstrates how it is a novel of survival, as Baldy Li and his family initially came from nothing, forcing Baldy Li to fight for his success as an entrepreneur.

The Sisters Brothers

It is also considered a coming of age novel as it outlines Baldy Li's life from his early childhood to his later life. There is also love woven throughout the story, not just romantic love but also brotherly and parental love. Due to the particularly politically sensitive subject matter and vulgar language, Yu Hua's novel received generally harsh reviews from Chinese literary critics, despite selling nearly one million copies in China. Inversely, the novel managed to receive critical acclaim from English speaking countries, after being released in January Even with its popularity, the vulgar and crude language juxtaposed with the culturally important setting of the Cultural Revolution has garnered much criticism.

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A River Runs Through It

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Brothers: A Novel. Trudeau, vol. Literature Resource Center. The New York Times.

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Retrieved 21 March About The Book. The Jersey Brothers Preface I have a clear memory of that moment when our innocence was fractured, perhaps because it was in such contrast to our blissful cousin-play. The highlight of those summer visits was seeing our cousin there, whom we adored and rarely saw otherwise.

I know it was dusk because that was when the bats started dive-bombing the birdie, our favorite part of the evening. The adults—my father, mother, aunt, and grandmother—were having their cocktails on the front porch.


Then we heard a glass break, which is when we stopped our play, got dead quiet, and strained our ears. Then we heard our mother try to say something, and then she started crying. He usually held the attention of the people around him—at work and at home. We kids had never met Uncle Barton, but my siblings, cousin, and I all knew what he looked like.

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There were photos of him on every wall of every room at Lilac Hedges. You would hardly have known that our grandmother had three other children. I was sure his smiling green eyes followed my every step as I walked up. We joked that he was winking at us, but whenever I reached that landing, I took those last two steps in a leap of terror, as though fleeing a ghost. Each time, I felt a familiar tingling at the back of my neck and then braced myself.

Here we go again. What was going on here?

Brothers: A Novel | MCLC Resource Center

As children, and then teens, and then young adults, we analyzed every syllable whenever the topic sprang from its dark corner, hoping to elicit conclusive details. But the mystery persisted long into our adulthood. Speculation on what had happened to him—and when—became a sort of a parlor game for us, and it never ended satisfactorily. When I set out to unravel this family mystery, my objective was to uncover the facts that led to the anguished outburst that night—and which ended our traditional summer visits to Lilac Hedges.

I was determined to learn more about this Uncle Barton, but what I uncovered would have stunned the adults on that porch.

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