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Deadly Quiet City: Stories From Wuhan, COVID Ground Zero

2023 - Shortlisted


Judges' Comments

Translated from Chinese  

Deadly Quiet City is a collection of interviews conducted during the lockdown in the Ground Zero of COVID-19, Wuhan. The reader is confronted and moved by the stories of adversity, solidarity and confusion among the population, and given insights into the political ineptitude and courageous civil obedience that its residents experienced. The author’s direct and honest style seeks to show the situation on the ground rather than trying to influence the reader with dramatic literary manipulations. 

Murong took a grave risk when he travelled to Wuhan to conduct these interviews and compose this important piece of reportage. Not least because such accounts cannot freely circulate in China, this translation will remain a key work of literary documentation of the pandemic moment. The translator, whose work is admirably transparent and colloquial, prefers to remain anonymous — for obvious reasons.