Dai Sijie's bestselling and much loved first novel, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, was a delightful fable. His second is a Chinese Don Quixote following the peripatetic misadventures of Mr Muo, China's first psychoanalyst.
It's been over ten years since Muo left China. He's been happily studying Freud in France since then. But when he hears that his first love has been thrown into a Chinese jail he rushes home to rescue her. Muo tries to bribe Judge Di but, sick of cash and cars, the judge demands that he find him a virgin to deflower instead. And so Muo embarks on a hilarious quest...
Witty, surreal, moving, wonderfully picaresque, it is packed full of stories, anecdote, incident and mishap, all resulting in a highly enjoyable satire of one innocent man's attempt to negotiate the mind-boggling maze of modern China.
Winner of the Prix Femina.