Redeem White Horse

White Horse

Format: eBook £1.99
ISBN: 9781908446220
Published: October 2014

About the book

Yun Yun lives in a small West China town with her widowed father, and an uncle, aunt and older cousin who live nearby. One day, her once-secure world begins to fall apart. Through her eyes, we observe her cousin, Zhang Qing, keen to dive into the excitements of adolescence but clashing with repressive parents. Ensuing tensions reveal that the relationships between the two families are founded on a terrible lie.

Translated from the Chinese by Nicky Harman.


‘Vivid, White Horse mesmerizes from page one as events unfold through the unassuming lenses of a child's mind. In recounting how young Yun Yun is trying to make sense of real life experiences in an adult world.

Author Yan Ge weaves a fascinating tale of receptive hearts, rebellious spirits and hidden secrets infused with cultural values in a small close-knit Chinese community.’ Lema Abeng-Nsah, DUNIA Magazine publisher & Editorial Director

‘This is a great introduction for English-reading audiences to the work of one of China’s most interesting and accessible new writers. If you are looking for proof that Chinese children and teenagers have the same anxieties, desires and self-centred impulses as those elsewhere, then read this short novella by the enormously impressive Yan Ge, translated adeptly by Nicky Harman. We loved the way it was written – it didn’t have that certain ‘translated Chinese’ feel that a lot of family-saga type stories seem to have. The characterisation is handled well, and while some of the traits of the family members may not always immediately be familiar, they are completely plausible, and readers are immersed in the child narrator’s world within the first couple of pages.

The central character Yun Yun is both hugely sympathetic, yet equally annoying and selfish in an absolutely believable way. In a particularly memorable and humorous scene her father is baring his soul to her and she opportunistically asks for him to buy her an expensive fountain pen. The white horse of the title adds a fleeting touch of magical realism that manages to avoid cliché and highlights the narrative perspective.’
Frances Weightman and Sarah Dodd, co-organisers of Writing Chinese, University of Leeds
Yan Ge was born in Sichuan in the People’s Republic of China. She recently completed a PhD in comparative literature at Sichuan University and is the chairperson of the China Young Writer Association. Her early work focused on the wonders, gods and ghosts of Chinese myth and made her especially popular with teenagers. The novel May Queen (2008) saw her break through as a critically-acclaimed author. She now writes realist fiction, strongly Sichuan-based, focussing with warmth, humour and razor-sharp insights on squabbling families and small-town life. People’s Literature magazine recently chose her as one of China’s twenty future literary masters, and in 2012 she was chosen as Best New Writer by the prestigious Chinese Literature Media Prize.

Read the review of White Horse in Dunia magazine

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