Novel About the Chinese People’s Liberation Army: the Third Eye by Zhu Sujin
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The Third Eye was applauded nationwide as a path-breaking story at its publication in 1986. However, Chinese authorities found it provocative and disturbing. The Third Eye received no awards, although it was superior in several ways to Gazing, a national prize winner. Apart from political challenges, The Third Eyeoffers a fresh humanitarian concern for those who attempted to escape from Mao’s China and a truthful portrait of political fear and sexual repression in the People’s Liberation Army during those difficult years. It remains Zhu Sujin’s best fiction and a milestone in PLA Literature. Its significance is unlikely to fade even though the PLA portrayed in the story has long since become an historical artifact.
"Professor Qingyun Wu, the well-known translator of The Remote Country of Women by Bai Hua and A Dream of Glory by Wang Yun, has again successfully rendered a fluent translation of an important Chinese text for Western readers. It should prove invaluable for scholars and college students in the fields of world literature, political science, contemporary Chinese and military history, and Chinese literature." - Prof. Paul S. Ropp, Clark University
"The People’s Liberation Army Literature is quite popular in Mainland China yet rarely studied or read in the West. This English rendition of Zhu Sujin’s The Third Eye offers a kaleidoscopic view of Chinese barracks life in reality and fiction. The story deals with the military confrontation between Taiwan and the Mainland at the end of the Cultural Revolution and tells the story of Sima Shu, son of a Communist general commander, swimming across the Strait to Taiwan to seek freedom of speech and to abandon the dogmatic pretensions that everyone is forced to comply under the totalitarian state system. The author calls for a “third eye” to probe hypocrisy and the true individual self. Its motifs as well as the understated narratives mixed with melodramatic irony are reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 and Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night."
- Prof. Dominic Cheung (Zhang Cuo)
University of Southern California
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