Anthony Doerr, "Village 113"

The seed keeper’s village is slated for submergence, part of the new dam project.

(from Tin House, vol. 7, number 4)

Teacher Ke shakes his cane at passersby; his coat is a rag, his house a shed. He has lived through two wars and a cultural purge and the Winter of Eating Weeds. Even to the oldest villagers Teacher Ke is old: no family, no teeth. He reads three laguages; he has been in the gorges, they say, longer than the rocks.

Awesome. The prose is elegant and visual, the storytelling natural and careful. Damn.

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