Wednesday 10 May 2023

#Blogtour The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu.

About the Author

Originally from Shanghai, China, Wenyan Lu is the winner of the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2020. Wenyan holds a Master of Studies in Creative Writing as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge. Her unpublished historical novel The Martyr's Hymn was also longlisted for SI Leeds Literary Prize 2018 and Bridport First Novel Prize 2019. She lives in Cambridge with her family. Follow @wenyan_lu on Twitter or Instagram: @wenyanwrites

About the book

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 could cry, happy tears mind you, about the simplicity of it all, which is a statement in itself - not the crying, the simplicity. At one point I was convinced the daughter was either hiding in a shed eating sausages or someone was texting the Cryer pretending to be the daughter. At the end I realised the genius is in the anonymity and simplicity.

In fact this is the kind of material that makes an prizeworthy film. A story that tells the tale of a woman isolated by her choice of job, ignored by her husband, and considered a second class citizen because she is a woman. She is at stage in her life when society no longer considers her attractive or worthy of consideration. A mid-life occurrence for many women when invisibility kicks in. Good enough to be the servant, the cook, the one making money and putting food on the table, and of course good enough to be the substitute in bed.

Simultaneously the story speaks to the rural economic desperation, the separation of town and country, they way the young move to the cities and are often left with no other option to finance themselves than selling themselves. The huge discrepancy between the haves and have-nots is very evident.

I think the Cryer is the epitome of the way a woman is perceived in society and also the way women endure silently, battle on with a drive that threatens to come to an instant halt at any time.

I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Buy The Funeral Cryer at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Allen and Unwin; Hardback & eBook | pub date 4 May 2023 | £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.

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