"He remembers that river outside the courtyard of his old family home. Whenever it rained for days, the rising water rumbled at night, an unforgettable sound throughout and beyond his childhood. Years later the river dried up and transformed into a road, yet he cannot remember when that rumbling noise ceased to exist."
In this unique novel, Liu Yi explores the past, present and future self-identification of the people in Taiwan. As individuals in pursuit of excellence travel between the island and the Chinese Mainland, their changing identities are constantly discussed and debated. More often than not, this becomes the cause of conflicts between groups and communities of different ethnic and/or ideological backgrounds.
Following the footsteps of South African author John Maxwell Coetzee, Liu explores the lives of ordinary people in turbulent times, particularly when the writing and recollection of their times are being dominated by politics and the so-called history. This is an unusual novel at an unusual time of Taiwan's history.