To call Do Not Say We Have Nothing an epic is to underestimate the novel before you. I spent a month poring over this book, and it was such an enjoyable experience.
Thien weaves a story of China’s revolution through generations of one family, punctuated by the tales of the Book of Records, a novel told through many notebooks and revisions, their prized possession. Do Not Say We Have Nothing is thick with music, large and small rebellions, poetry and love.
While it didn’t win the Man Booker, it stands up as an important retelling of China under Mau and an ode to the arts.
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Thank you ever so much to Granta Books for sending me this copy to read. It has been such an experience.