Short story review: ‘Old Man Xinjiang’ by Xue Mo

Story Title: ‘Old Man Xinjiang’ by Xue Mo; translated by Nicky Harman
Source: Guardian Books (available online as part of the Guardian’s ‘China stories’ series)
Date Read: 11th April 2012
Briefly: Every man has a cross to bear, and Old Man Xinjiang stoically and optimistically bears several.
Afterthoughts: This is a rather humbling and sad tale about an aged old country man who has to deal with a less than perfect life. As sad as it is, it’s also somewhat optimistic, sharing the lesson that less is often more. There’s something very Chekhovian about Old Man Xinjiang, as he goes through life with the philosophy that one should take what life throws at one, whether it’s good or bad.

Rating: ★★★½☆

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).