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The Howl of the Wolf

by Hong Ke

A man does battle with a wolf, two sworn brothers lock horns – literally – as they drink and brag the night away, and an old man turns to his flame-bellied stove for comfort when facing a bitter winter alone.

These are just some of the fascinating folk who inhabit the magical stories of Hong Ke. Set in Xinjiang, the gateway between China and Middle Asia, The Howl of the Wolf paints a colourful picture of frontier life in all its earthy glory.

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.


Hong Ke (the pen-name of Yang Hongke) first came to public attention in 2000 when his breakthrough story ‘Blowing Smoke’ won the Lu Xun National Excellent Short Story Award and he was recognised as a Most Promising Newcomer by the Feng Mu Prize.

The author, who was born in Qishan County on the Zhou Plateau in 1962, received his higher education in Baoji and spent a decade (1986-96) teaching and carrying out cultural research in Xinjiang, a geographically and ethnically diverse region stretching for more than 1.6 million km2. On returning to his home province, he taught at Shaanxi Normal University, while continuing to evoke the vast northwest in his magic realism-suffused stories, novellas and novels. His longer works include Rider to the West, Tiger! Tiger!, One Hundred Birds Worship the Phoenix and the Mao Dun Prize shortlisted Kalabu Sandstorm.

Hong Ke passed away in Xi’an shortly after the 2018 Spring Festival. His short stories and novellas were posthumously added to the prestigious China Classics International list as selected by the state. A collection of his stories translated into English, The Howl of the Wolf, was published by Valley Press in 2019.


Edition: First

Date Published: 2019-07-01

ISBN: 9781912436163

Catalogue Number: VP0136

Number of Pages: 236

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