The Jade King: Fahami budaya Cina Muslim di Beijing

The Jade King is the story of three generations of a Chinese Muslim family, from the turbulent years of the Japanese invasion and Second World War to the present. Central to the theme of this tragic novel are the four harrowing love stories of father, son, aunt and daughter, each victim of prejudice and fate.

The novel is regarding a modern Chinese culture set in the Muslim community in Bejing. Fascinating, and full of reminders of the importance of the past. The author Huo Da, a Muslim herself, locates her narrative in the specific milieu of Beijing`s Muslim community with its jade artisans, astute merchants, hardworking housewives, and its young people struggling to assert their independence and individuality in the face of religious and social bigotry.

The Muslim community and family concern in this novel is centered at Hui clan of Chinese races. This community pays a great attention to cleanliness, abstinence from pork, as well as wears white caps the Muslim men wear. And the fact is that the existence of a Muslim district in Beijing and the Ox Street Mosque.

Old Master jade artisan Liang, a poor but talented jade craftsman, has one regret in life; he has no son and heir to carry on the family business and run the Rare Gem Studio. One day, a venerable old Muslim (Tuloyedin) on his way to Holy City of Mecca, Saudi Arabia and accompanied by his young disciple (Ibrahim or Han Ziqi) appears at Liang`s door to ask for sustenance. Entranced by Liang`s exquisite jade work and his two beautiful daughters, the disciple begs to be allowed to stay. The fate of the Liang family is changed forever.

Richly textured, moving, tremendously exciting, The Jade King is a veritable tour de force. It was accorded China`s top literary accolade, the Mao Dun Prize for Literature.

I hope readers will realize that amongst China`s 56 ethnic groups, ten are believers in Islam, and among the 1 over billion Chinese people there is a young Hui writer, who was written a book in Chinese about the life of the Hui people.

The publisher is Chinese Literature Press, Beijing, China, under trademark of Panda Book. In the 1980s and 90s, the Beijing-based publisher published the Panda Book series of Chinese literary works, similar to the UK`s Penguin Books, in English, French and German. The Panda Book series include modern and classical Chinese fiction and poetry, and is said warmly welcomed by Chinese literature funs.


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