EUNUCH by Kristina Carlson
125 x 185mm, 98 pages, Black & white printing, Perfect bound, Softcover, 2023
An ageing eunuch, named Wang Wei after the great poet, looks back on his life at the court of the Song dynasty in 12th-century China
Wang Wei has always chosen his words carefully. His unobtrusive presence has seen him through the reign of ﬁve emperors, but now, as his own time is running out, he immerses himself in an unbridled account of a life conﬁned at court. From the early separation from his parents, sisters, and brother – who did not survive the operation into a eunuch – to the power struggles he has witnessed and endured, Wang Wei examines human relationships with precision and a catching sense of wonder. While rumours are weapons, it is love and its various forms of expression that most fascinate Wang Wei.
Reaching into a secret and secluded world, Carlson's vivid prose is as delicate as it is enigmatic. A meditation on power and exclusion, love and loneliness, gender and identity, ageing and transformation, Eunuch is a compact masterpiece.
Translated from Finnish by Mikko Alapuro