Tuesday, 21 August 2012
The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa
Shan Sa was born in China and didn't move to France until she had finished secondary school herself so winning a literary prize in her adopted language was no small achievement.
I read it for that reason and because I wanted to read a book set in China. It wasn't until I'd finished the book that I realised that the format of the story was based on the game of Go, a very tactical that game I don't really know or quite understand.
It is set in China, Manchuria, at the time of Japanese occupation. The chapters alternate telling the story of the girl and her opponent in Go, a Japanese soldier. The chapters mirror the conflict in the game as well as the conflict between the girl and the soldier, and between China and Japan. It wasn't the easiest read, but a fascinating glimpse into a part of Chinese history I hardly knew, nevertheless.
The Girl Who Played Go from Amazon.com
The Girl Who Played Go from Amazon.co.uk