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ISBN: 9781800812819
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Serpent’S Tail (UBD)
Origin: GB
Release Date: August, 2024

Book Details

Wai and Ling are secondary school Chinese language teachers in Hong Kong, both crumbling under the pressure of a forced transition from using Cantonese to Mandarin as a medium of Chinese-language instruction. Apolitical and focused only on surviving their professional environment, Wai and Ling approach the challenge differently: Wai, awkward and unpopular, becomes obsessed with Mandarin learning, only to fail the qualification exam, lose her job, become mentally ill & kill herself by inserting a drill into her head. Ling is polished and cunning, she knows how to please her superiors and believes she can tactfully dodge the Mandarin challenge through her social savviness. Ling sees herself haunted and mirrored by Wai’s tragedy: things around her slowly spiral out of control and her colleagues begin to shun her too. What will she do to survive in a ruthless environment where the rules of survival are constantly being re-written? Tongueless is a taut, compelling novel of betrayal, power imbalance and rapid social change.