Bei Dao uses words as if he were fighting for his life with them… [He] has found to a way to speak to all of us.
—Jonathan Spence, New York Times Book Review

Midnight’s Gate

Nonfiction by Bei Dao

Edited by Christopher Mattison

Bei Dao has gained international acclaim for the hauntingly interior landscapes of his poetry, which has been translated and published in some twenty-five languages around the world. Now, in Midnight’s Gate, Bei Dao redefines the essay form with the same elliptical precision of his poetry, but with an openness and humor that complement the intensity of his poems. The twenty essays of Midnight’s Gate form a travelogue of a poet who has lived in seven countries since his exile from China in 1989. Like musical notes one the wind, the words carry us from a conflagration in New York, to the destruction in Palestine, to a prison in South Africa, to Norway, to Altea, to Inner Mongolia, to Death Valley, to a baseball game in Sacremento. At one point we are led into a basement in Paris where a production of Gorky’s Lower Depths unfolds for an audience of one, the next moment we are in the mountains of China were Bei Dao worked for eleven years as a concrete mixer and ironworker. In these essays, the subjective experience deepens and multiplies as the reader dives into the everyday lives of immigrants, artists, political figures, as well as a host of prominent writers. And it all coheres with a poet’s observations, meditations, and memories.

Editions: Paperback

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Paperback (published May 1, 2005)

ISBN
9780811215848
Price US
19.95
Price CN
28
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
272

Bei Dao

Contemporary Chinese poet, representative of the Misty Poets.

Bei Dao uses words as if he were fighting for his life with them… [He] has found to a way to speak to all of us.
—Jonathan Spence, New York Times Book Review