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From the publisher
A profound, poignant story of a village healer and her community, from one of the world's great contemporary novelists
"A complex and illuminating portrait of a group of healers in China . . . [that] offers profound insights about what it means to pursue and live a fulfilling life."-Publishers Weekly
"A barefoot doctor herself, [Can Xue] has a unique and powerful way of transporting readers to new worlds where reality and magic are intertwined, and she uses her own experiences to make this novel feel more personal."-Emily Park, Booklist
In rural Yun Village, herbalist Mrs. Yi lives with her husband in a cottage at the foot of Niulan Mountain, where she gathers herbs to treat the ailments of the villagers by day and studies medicine by night. Sickness and herbs are lovers, she tells her patients, rejoicing when they recover, comforting them when they do not. All the while, she hopes to find a worthy successor to take up her mantle. As curious younger villagers observe Mrs. Yi and begin imitating her work-planting gardens and studying the art of healing-they soon discover that the line dividing life from death is porous, and the mountain is more mysterious than they ever knew.
Drawing on her experiences as a barefoot doctor in her youth, Can Xue returns with a transporting novel that alights in the in-between spaces: between the living and the dead, healer and sick, nature and us.