A Chinese writer whose marriage has fallen apart travels to Tibet. As he wanders through the countryside, he witnesses the sky burial of a Tibetan woman who died during childbirth, shares a tent with a nomad who is walking to a sacred mountain to seek forgiveness for sleeping with his daughter, meets a silversmith who has hung the wind-dried corpse of his lover to the walls of his cave, and hears the story of a young female incarnate lama who died during a Buddhist initiation rite. In the thin air of the high plateau, the divide between fact and fiction becomes confused and the man is drawn deep into an alien culture he knew nothing about, and which haunts his dreams.
Banned in China in 1987, Stick Out Your Tongue, is the hugely influential book that set Ma Jian on the road to exile.
Ma Jian was born in Qingdao, China in 1953. He is the author of Stick out Your Tongue, which in 1987 led to the permanent banning of his books in China; Red Dust; The Noodle Maker; Beijing Coma; and The Dark Road. He lives in London.