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Irrational Things

by Mu Tao

Mu Tao gives us a tantalising glimpse into the colourful lives and landscape of Shaanxi Province

"Why do women prefer men who remember their birthdays two days too late? What is the point of taking a stroll? And why does looking at a lake make us feel calm?"

Through his collection of stories, essays, thoughts and meanderings, prose philosopher Mu Tao gives us a tantalising glimpse into the colourful lives and landscape of Shaanxi Province. Combining intriguing personal asides, wry observations and pithy ponderings, he presents a unique collection of colourful vignettes that, together, create a richly pigmented picture of lives well-lived in an ever-evolving world.

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.


Mu Tao was born in Langfang, Hebei Province in 1963 and raised mostly in nearby Xuanhua. He currently lives in Xi’an (formerly the ancient capital city, Chang’an). Mr Mu studied at the prestigious Writing School at Northwest University and serves as editor of the Meiwen (“Elegant Prose”) literary journal. His essay collections include a study of the novelist Tie Ning and Social Customs of Bygone Days, which was awarded the Lu Xun Prize. Elected Vice President of the China Prose Association in April 2021, he is a noted gourmet and antiquary as well.


Date Published: 2022-03-17

ISBN: 978-1-912436-65-1

Catalogue Number: VP0186

Number of Pages: 144

Cover design by Martina Klančišar
Cover photograph by Matty Smith
Text design by Peter Barnfather
Series edited by Hu Zongfeng and Robin Gilbank

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