Story Title: ‘The Accident’ by Murong Xuecun; translated by Harvey Thomlinson
Source: Guardian Books (available online as part of the Guardian’s ‘China stories’ series)
Date Read: 11th April 2012
Briefly: Wei is on his way to meet his girlfriend Feng Shan when he knocks an old farmer off his motorbike. Knowing that he has been drinking and aware that he made an illegal turn, Wei is worried about the consequences of this inconvenient accident.
Afterthoughts: Country meets city in a somewhat shocking story which plays on the concept that those with influence and few morals can often exploit a situation to their own advantage. One ends up feeling mightily sorry for one of the characters in this finely rendered story, but I’m not telling you which one.