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CLOUD MOUNTAIN

CLOUD MOUNTAIN

雲山

* 2019 Openbook Award
* 2020 Taipei Book Fair Award
* 2020 Golden Tripod Award

 

Multiple disasters – a sister’s deadly car accident and a father’s cancer – tether a middle-aged woman to her family. Her sister’s boyfriend watches dreams of love pass him by. Placid exteriors mask tortured inner lives played out in this suburban apartment complex facing a mountain.


 

The sudden death of Yang Chi-yung’s elder sister in a car accident nearly destroys their parents. Unfortunately, it isn’t a final blow; her father is diagnosed with cancer only a few years later. While Chi-yung initially stayed at home to provide emotional support, her service comes to include more and more physical support – first for both parents, and then (after her father’s death) for her aging mother.

 

Although the middle-aged Chi-yung maintains an outward calm, her inner life has become tortured and fragile. Words easily turn into omens, and accidents into catastrophes. Life with her mother goes on in a state of hidden tension, the depths of which only she and the listening reader can begin to plumb.

 

At its very exterior, this novel depicts a still scene of an apartment building at the outskirts of Taipei that faces a small mountain, and the limited lives of a few people who live there. Yet the expanse of psychological territory it covers is nearly limitless; like Virginia Woolf writing To the Lighthouse one of the greatest novels in English – about the middle-class family experience, author Chen Shu Yao utilizes a simple setting to frame a rich tapestry of inner experience.

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More Info

Category: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Ink

Date: 10/2019

Pages: 400

Length: 220,000 characters

(approx. 143,000 words in English)

Rights Contact

Catrina Liu (Books from Taiwan)

booksfromtaiwan.rights@gmail.com