by Gao Xingjian
The worldwide bestselling novel by the winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. Soul Mountain is a picaresque novel of immense wisdom and sparse beauty, bursting with knowledge and experience and portraying a culture as vast and fascinating as the history of humankind itself. In China in the early eighties, the book's central character embarks on a cross-country journey in search of the mysterious 'Mountain'. Along the way he collects stories, lovers, spiritual wisdom and undergoes myriad experiences that are sometimes violent, sometimes frightening, sometimes funny, but always enriching. He researches the origins of humankind and Chinese culture, and explores philosophical issues such as truth, knowledge and how one'childhood affects later life. At the end of the book, he realises that all along what was important was not finding the elusive Soul Mountain, but rather the journey itself. Part love story, part fable, part philosophical treatise and part travel journal, this is one of the most challenging, rewarding and inventive works of fiction since Ulysses.