This is a marvelous book. The writing mixes folklore with existentialism. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ve been reading books on China like Wild Geese, which has a compelling story but the style was mediocre. Here we get literature and a glimpse into life in China. I wish he wrote more novels.
Gao (in North East Asia family names come first) has written many plays and lives in Paris. More of his work has been translated into French than into English.
Soul Mountain focuses on the narrator who learns that he doesn’t have lung cancer after all. He then abandon’s his life as a cog in a propaganda department to wander through rural China.