Binu and The Great Wall: The Myth of Meng (Myths, The)

Binu and The Great Wall: The Myth of Meng (Myths, The)

Language: English

Pages: 291

ISBN: 1841959154

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Binu and The Great Wall: The Myth of Meng (Myths, The)

Language: English

Pages: 291

ISBN: 1841959154

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


From the author of the international hit Raise the Red Lantern comes a gorgeous reimagining of the myth of the girl whose tears collapsed the Great Wall—the seminal myth in Chinese culture. Su Tong is China’s most provocative young writer. Binu and the Great Wall is spellbinding and shocking—a tour de force from an artist called “a writer to watch” by Kirkus Reviews and “a true literary talent” by Anchee Min. In Peach village, crying is forbidden. But as a child, Binu never learned to hide her tears. Shunned by the villagers, she faced a bleak future until she met Qiliang, an orphan who offered her his hand in marriage. Then, one day, Qiliang disappears. Binu learns that he has been transported hundreds of miles and forced to labor on a project of terrifying ambition and scale—the building of the Great Wall. Binu is determined to find and save her husband. Inspired by her love, she sets out on an extraordinary journey toward Great Swallow Mountain with only a blind frog for company. What follows is an unforgettable story of passion, hardship, and magical adventure.

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Qiliang’s sandal was empty. She washed it in the moat, then gazed at her reflection in the water. The moonlit surface was smooth as a mirror, but still she could not see her face; it was absorbed into the glittery water. Unable to see her reflection, she suddenly forgot what she looked like, and when she tried to recall her appearance, the images that came to her mind were of a wizened old mountain woman on a wooden raft, and a tear-streaked face with inauspicious colouring. She knelt by the

was afraid, not of dying, but of this bizarre spot. She began to scream and struggled madly against the chain that bound her. But she was quickly surrounded by the deer-boys, who pinned her down with their thin but powerful legs and stopped her struggling. It occurred to Binu that they weren’t children after all, but a real herd of deer. Or if they weren’t deer, then they had the hearts of deer. She was frightened, not of deer, but of their deer hearts. A human heart can move a human heart, but

the boy if the man was Lord Hengming. ‘Him? That was a royal emissary, sent by the King himself. Even Lord Hengming is afraid of him.’ ‘I don’t care where he came from,’ Binu replied, ‘I did not block his way, so he cannot stop me from digging a hole.’ Torches in the forest turned half the sky red, the wind carried the voices of men, the cries of deer, and the whinnies of horses to the river bend. Binu did not know what was happening in Hundred Springs Terrace. She nudged the boy, who jumped

foot, and herself as well, that she would die sooner or later, but it would be on solid ground. Silence reigned on her side of the river, but from somewhere in the distance came the croak of a frog, then another. It must be my frog, she thought, somewhere in the grass over there. She searched the riverbank for a few moments, then suspected that the croaking may well have come from the roadside. ‘This is no time for hide-and-seek,’ she muttered. ‘I’m not interested in you, so go and look for your

never seen a human head.’ A kind-hearted woman came over and gently slapped Binu’s face, urging her to open her eyes. ‘There’s no need for someone from a good family to be afraid. Only bandits and assassins are afraid of human heads. Open your eyes and take a good look. Then you’ll never be afraid again. You’re not going to go blind looking at them. Actually, it will do you good, because you’ll be extra careful with what you say and do in the future.’ In her view, the men deserved to die. Some

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