One Man’s Bible


by Gao Xingjian

A fluid, elegant exploration of memory, this novel is a profound meditation on the essence of writing and exile, on the effects of political oppression on the human spirit – and on how that spirit can triumph.

1 in stock


Moving between the nightmare of the Cultural Revolution and the tentative, limited liberties of the China of the 1990s, ‘One Man’s Bible’ weaves memories of a Beijing boyhood and amorous encounters in Hong Kong with a fictionalized account of Gao Xingjian’s life under the communist regime – where a single sentence spoken ten years earlier can make one an enemy of the state.
The Barnes & Noble Review
Like another Nobel Prize winner, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Gao Xingjian, China’s leading novelist and playwright, mixes autobiographical details with fictional techniques to create indelible portraits of daily life under a harsh, dehumanizing political regime. In One Man’s Bible, Gao gives us a profound meditation on a life marked by personal and political trauma.
The nameless narrator of the novel — which begins in contemporary Hong Kong — is clearly Gao himself. In the intimate aftermath of a sexual encounter, Gao revisits the central moments of his life, traveling, in memory, to the Beijing of his childhood, a childhood scarred at the age of ten by his mother’s accidental drowning. From emblematic moments like this, Gao’s memory ranges across time and space, gradually illuminating the nature of life before, during, and after China’s disastrous Cultural Revolution.

Gao Xingjian is one of the most eloquent, authoritative voices of 20th-century China, and his personal, political, and aesthetic musings shine a light on a world that very few Westerners have ever truly understood. Ultimately, through his honesty and his artistry, Gao locates the common ground connecting us all in this memorable, universal novel about “the perplexities of being human.”
Bill Sheehan

Additional information

Book Condition

Used – Okay




336 pages


July 1, 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers, first in 1999


Fiction, Historical Fiction

One Man's Bible


1 in stock