Drollery, Voice

Charged with igniting a political insurrection among his students in a university in Beijing, Kauffman is sent to the notorious Kun Chong Prison, where his existence grows stranger by the hour as he struggles with the weight of his imprisonment and his incurable need to write about it in a place where art is forbidden, and the inmates must act as executioners.

— Back cover blurb, K: A Novel, by Ted O’Connell

Self knows what will keep her reading K: A Novel, it’s the voice. Professor K’s thoughts, his total absence of self-pity, his dry wit, are a joy (This novel better not end with his death! It’s first person, so perhaps not)

Back to Professor K’s ruminations about his fellow prisoner:

  • His given name, Xuo, is nothing I’ve heard before and even the native speakers are confused by it. In lighter moments I call him Barbie Shoes. In darker moments I want the guards to call him away and carry out his sentence, put his eyes into another world so I don’t have to see them in mine.

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