Zhang Yueran


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"Cocoon is a stupendous novel, a beautiful and formidable achievement on the grandest scale. Its ruthless psychological realism is wondrously amplified by Zhang Yueran's magical powers of description. Zhang Yueran's scenes and images have an unworldly gleam of both hard-won insight and timeless truth. The novel is a triumph." IAN McEWAN, author of the international bestseller Atonement

"Zhang dazzles with an intricately crafted web of secrets centered on two childhood friends in China. In lyrical prose, Zhang deeply humanizes her leads as they look to the past in an effort to understand themselves. It adds up to a remarkable and tragic story of family and community." Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Cheng Gong and Li Jiaqi go way back. Both hailing from dysfunctional families, they grew up together in a Chinese provincial capital in the 1980s. Now, many years later, the childhood friends reunite and discover how much they still have in common. Both have always been determined to follow the tracks of their grandparents' generation to the heart of a mystery that perhaps should have stayed buried. What exactly happened during that rainy night in 1967, in the abandoned water tower?

Zhang Yueran's layered and hypnotic prose reveals much about the unshakable power of friendship and the existence of hope. Hers is a unique fresh voice representing a new generation of important young writers from China, shedding a different light on the country's recent past.

Translated by Jeremy Tiang.

Format/pages: paperback / 328 pages

ISBN: 9781642861051

Publisher: World Editions

Year: 2022

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