Title: The Funeral Cryer
Author: Wenyan Lu
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: 4th May 2023
An Yu’s Braised Pork meets Flaubert’s Madame Bovary in this unforgettable, tragi-comic tale of one woman’s mid-life re-awakening in contemporary rural China.
The Funeral Cryer long ago accepted the mundane realities of her life: avoided by fellow villagers because of the stigma attached to her job as a professional mourner and under-appreciated by The Husband, whose fecklessness has pushed the couple close to the brink of break-up. But just when things couldn’t be bleaker, The Funeral Cryer takes a leap of faith – and in so doing things start to take a surprising turn for the better . . .
Dark, moving and wry, The Funeral Cryer is both an illuminating depiction of a ‘left behind’ society – and proof that it’s never too late to change your life.
I was first drawn to this book by the gorgeously aesthetic cover and the intriguing premise. Happily I can confirm the inside turned out to be just as elegant as the outside. The story follows a professional mourner in rural China, a profession I had no idea existed and that I found utterly fascinating. We follow The Funeral Cryer as she meditates on the way her life has unfolded and how she can change it.
Interestingly, in The Funeral Cryer, the characters are not identified by name, but rather by description, like ‘the husband’, ‘the butcher’ and ‘the mother’. This took me a little while to get used to but I thought it gave the prose an unusual and compelling atmosphere. This is not a fast-paced, action-filled read, however the slow and slightly melancholic pace worked perfectly for the story. I found The Funeral Cryer a fascinating and evocative exploration of death, grief, social stigma and identity written with elegance and insight. Would definitely recommend if you are looking for a slower and incredibly thoughtful read!
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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One thought on “The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu – Blog Tour Review”
Nice review. This sounds interesting.