At BEA this year, I met A Yi, a Chinese author visiting New York and the United States for the first time. I’m promoting his first novel to be translated into English, A PERFECT CRIME, which has been called “a fiendishly clever point where Albert Camus nods benignly to Bret Easton Ellis.”
John Freeman, who first published A Yi at Granta, and who appeared with A Yi at The Center for Fiction during his visit to New York, said A Yi had been introduced to him for the first time as “the Elmore Leonard of China.” It made him sit up and take notice — understandably so.
Here’s my favorite exchange from A PERFECT CRIME, the last lines of the chapter where the protagonist has turned himself into the police for killing his classmate:
“How did you know who we were?”
“The leather belts.”
They looked down at their waists. The buckles were painted with a police crest.
“I want a KFC,” I said, and then dropped off to sleep.