From acclaimed Chinese author Han Song comes a twisted, experimental narrative of one man's mysterious illness and his journey through a dystopian hospital system.
When Yang Wei travels to C City for work, he expects nothing more than a standard business trip. A break from his day-to-day routine, a good paycheck, a nice hotel--nothing too extravagant, of course. No fuss, but all the amenities.
But this is where his problems begin. A complimentary bottle of mineral water from the hotel minibar results in sudden and debilitating stomach pain, followed by unconsciousness. When he wakes three days later, things don't improve; they get worse. With no explanation, the hotel forcibly sends him to a hospital for examination. There, he receives no diagnosis, no discharge date...just a diligent guide to the labyrinthine medical system he's now circulating through.
Armed with nothing but his own confusion, Yang Wei travels deeper into the inner workings of the hospital and the secrets it's hiding from the patients. As he seeks escape and answers, one man's illness takes him on a quest through a corrupt system and his own troubled mind.
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About the Author
Han Song is a journalist with Xinhua News Agency and one of China's leading science fiction writers. A native of Chongqing, Han earned an MA in journalism from Wuhan University; he began writing in 1982 and has published numerous volumes of fiction and essays. His novels include The Red Sea, Red Star over America, the Rails trilogy (Subway, High-Speed Rail, and Orbits), and the Hospital trilogy (Hospital, Exorcism, and Dead Souls), which has been described as a new landmark in dystopian fiction. Han is a six-time winner of the Chinese Galaxy Award for fiction and a repeat recipient of the Xingyun Award. His short fiction has appeared in the collections Broken Stars and The Reincarnated Giant and the anthology Exploring Dark Short Fiction: A Primer to Han Song. Han Song is also an avid reader and traveler, having traveled to the Antarctic and the Arctic. He's even searched for bigfoot in the forests of central China.
Michael Berry is a professor of contemporary Chinese cultural studies and director of the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA. He is the author of several books on Chinese film and culture, including Speaking in Images, A History of Pain, and Jia Zhangke on Jia Zhangke. He has served as a film consultant and a juror for numerous film festivals, including the Golden Horse (Taiwan) and the Fresh Wave (Hong Kong). He is also the translator of several novels, including To Live, The Song of Everlasting Sorrow (with Susan Chan Egan), and Remains of Life.
"China's premier science fiction writer." --Los Angeles Times
"[T]his dystopian tale skillfully balances delusion, disillusionment, and disdain. Readers are in for a dark, difficult trip down the rabbit hole." --Publishers Weekly
"Demented, delirious, and one of a kind...Kafkaesque doesn't begin to describe this cunning labyrinth of a novel. Nothing I have read has captured so incisively (and searingly) the unrelenting institutional brutality of our contemporary world." --Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
"The darkness contained within Hospital expresses the author's desperation with mankind's attempts at self-treatment and salvation. The novel's completely unbridled narrative path sets out in the direction of science fiction but ultimately arrives at the spiritual abyss lurking in the reality of today's China...and the rest of the world." --Yan Lianke, author of The Day the Sun Died and Hard Like Water
"Han Song stands out among Chinese science fiction writers. His exuberant imagination engages history in total earnest, speaking to the darkness and perversity of the human condition. Hospital is his masterpiece and should be a landmark in the terrain of contemporary science fiction." --Ha Jin, author of Waiting, War Trash, and A Song Everlasting
"The kind of science fiction I write is two dimensional; but Han Song writes three-dimensional science fiction. If we look at Chinese science fiction as a pyramid, two-dimensional science fiction would be the foundation, but the kind of three-dimensional science fiction that Han Song writes would be the pinnacle." --Liu Cixin, author of The Three-Body Problem
"In this era in which the epidemic rages, Han Song's Hospital has presented us with a delirious Kafka-esque vision of the future where the relationship between disease, patients, and (technological) caregivers has become enshrouded in a new level of complexity and dark enchantment. Thanks to Michael Berry's brilliant translation, this unforgettable literary experience can now reach a new group of readers." --Chen Qiufan, author of The Waste Tide; co-author of AI 2041
"A work of unbelievable creativity and imagination." --Lo Yi-Chin, author of Faraway