Like a latter-day Rip Van Winkle, a troubled young man slumbers away for ten years. While he slowly retraces the experiences that brought him into this dream state, the world around him morphs into a nearly unrecognizable place. The place is not a mountain fairyland in pre-Revolutionary America, though, but China at the turn of the 21st century. And our hero is not a beleaguered farmer seeking solace among the mountains and rivers, but rather a promising graduate student named Dai Wei who was shot in the head during the pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Beijing Coma, by the critically acclaimed author Ma Jian, is a unexpectedly visceral and daring work of fiction that explores how and why a promising young student would risk his life in the spring of 1989, and also reveals the profound personal consequences of this historic struggle for freedom--long after the CNN cameras stopped rolling.

Tags: Fiction, Novel, Ma Jian