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The Hour of the Locust

by Yang Zhengguang

An earthy novel of rivalry and revenge in rural China

After locusts destroy their crops, a group of desperate farmers swap their seeds and hoes for guns and knives as they swarm into the idyllic village of Ancestral Worshippers Shrine in search of food, drink and female company.

The kind villagers are welcoming but when it comes to bidding their visitors a fond farewell, there’s a problem: the bandits won’t leave. They draw lots to see which of them will be the new Village Head, but when they start drawing lots for new wives, the villagers start to rebel.

In this earthy novel of rivalry and revenge in rural China, Yang Zhengguang gives us an unforgettable crop of characters in a landscape blighted by greedy locusts and unscrupulous men hungry for power.

This book is part of Shaanxi Stories, a series of translated works by acclaimed authors from the Shaanxi province of China, produced by Valley Press in collaboration with Northwest University, Xi’an. The series editors are Hu Zongfeng and Robin Gilbank.


Yang Zhengguang was born in Qian County, Shaanxi, in 1957. After graduating from Shandong University in 1982 with a degree in Chinese literature, he moved to the city of Tianjin to be part of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body promoting multi-party cooperation. Four years later, he moved to a small village in northern Shaanxi to write poetry.

He then became a successful scriptwriter, most notably adapting the classic Chinese epic The Outlaws of the Marsh to great acclaim. Yang also founded and served as CEO of the Chang’an Film & Television Production Company, and became chairman of the Shenzhen Association of Literature and Art.

A collection of his short stories, How Old Dan Became a Tree, was published by Valley Press in January 2018.


Date Published: 2022-03-31

ISBN: 978-1-912436-79-8

Catalogue Number: VP0196

Number of Pages: 160

Text and cover design by Peter Barnfather
Series edited by Hu Zongfeng and Robin Gilbank

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