Original title: Černé jazyky
A story of a search for truth and one’s own place in history, set in Taiwan
Taiwanese Bao likes to have life under control. He has a great career, his children go to high-prestige schools, and he is apparently undisturbed by his dysfunctional relationship with ex-wife Sedrika. In Taiwan, so much is about not losing face – under any circumstances.
All this changes suddenly when Sedrika comes down with an incurable disease and Bao’s son David chooses to meet his uncle Tae, with whom Bao has quarrelled – apparently over their inheritance. Injustices and lies within the family now present themselves in layers, resulting in fundamental change in Bao’s life and the lives of those around him. Nothing is as it seems. And nothing turns out as the protagonists of this novel would wish.
The character of Bao and the story of his family reflect the experience of his severely tested homeland and the agonies of his ancestors, reaching far into the past. Through the eyes of its various characters, the novel Black Tongues addresses the fragility of ideas about truth, duty, honour and love, showing just how hard it is to face the outside world in a spirit of truth and sincerity.