We're extremely excited to announce that we'll be publishing the debut novel by Xiaoda Xiao, called The Cave Man, an exceptionally moving and fascinating portrait of a brutalized man named Ja Feng, imprisoned during Chairman Mao's rule.
The story begins as Ja Feng is contained within a 3' x 4.5' solitary confinement cell in a prison camp. He has survived this punishment for a miraculous nine months, a period of time that has forced him to question his basic human faculties and emotions.
The Cave Man follows Ja Feng as he is released from his solitary confinement, as he is forced to integrate with fellow prisoners who view his skeletal figure and erratic screaming fits as freakish, and his heartbreaking attempts to assimilate into Chinese culture, to reestablish familial bonds and to seek out an ordinary human experience.
XIAODA XIAO was arrested in 1971 for tearing a poster of Mao and was sentenced to a five-year prison term as a counterrevolutionary. As a result, he spent the next seven years in a prison labor reform brigade on an island in Taihu Lake in Jiangsu province. He came to Amherst, MA, in the spring of 1989 shortly before the break-out of the democratic movement in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, where he lives with his wife. He has published stories based on his prison experience during the last years of Mao’s regime in China in various magazines in the U.S., among them, The Atlantic Monthly.
The Cave Man should be out in the Fall of 2009.