The Last Lover

The Last Lover

Annelise Finegan Wasmoen, a graduate student in the Comparative Literature Ph.D. program, translated this extraordinary book by Chinese author Can Xue. The translation was the winner of the 2015 Best Translated Book Award for fiction presented by Three Percent, a resource for international literature.
In Can Xue’s book, we encounter a full assemblage of husbands, wives, and lovers. Entwined in complicated, often tortuous relationships, these characters step into each other’s fantasies, carrying on conversations that are “forever guessing games.” Their journeys reveal the deepest realms of human desire, figured in Can Xue’s vision of snakes and wasps, crows, cats, mice, earthquakes, and landslides. In dive bars and twisted city streets, on deserts and snowcapped mountains, the author creates an extreme world where every character “is driving death away with a singular performance.”

The translation was published by Yale University Press in February 2014.