White Horse

White Horse
Yan Ge



Yun Yun lives in a small West China town with her widowed father, an uncle, aunt and an 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 Chinese by Nicky Harman

Young Adult | ISBN: 9781908446220 | eBook

Yan Ge

Yan Ge was born in Schuan in the People’s Republic of China. She is the chairperson of the China Young Writers Association. People’s Literature magazine chose her as one of China’s twenty future literary masters, and she was selected as Best New Writer by the prestigious Chinese Literature Media Prize.
Full  White Horse review in Dunia magazine >


'Short, but sweet (and bitter at times too), White Horse is a great little read, one you can knock off very quickly. Having read it on my Kindle, I’m not completely sure of the page count, but I’d guess that it would run to about fifty pages in a print version. It features a nice smooth translation by Harman, one which captures the voice of a child nicely while also avoiding the exoticism of some Chinese translations, where simple greetings are translated literally, thus sounding archaic.'
Tony Malone, Tony's Reading List - full review >
'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

Share this title

More Young Adult Titles

Dew Angels
Melanie Schwapp

Being Me
Pete Kalu

You're Not Proper
Tariq Mehmood

Share by: