Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012. This tells the story of Hei-hai, a skinny, sorry silent boy who is recruited to a rural work team in China in the 1950s. He is indifferent to pain or suffering but eerily sensitive to the beauties of the natural world.
During China's collectivist era in the late 1950s, a rural work team responsible for building an important floodgate receives a strange new recruit- Hei-hai, a skinny, silent and almost feral boy. Assigned to assist the blacksmith at the worksite forge, Hei-hai proves superhumanly indifferent to pain or suffering and yet, eerily sensitive to the natural world. As the worksite becomes a backdrop to jealously and strife, Hei-hai's eyes remain fixed on a world that only he can see, searching for wonders that only he understands. One day, he finds all that he has been seeking embodied in the most mundane and unexpected way- a radish.