2017 is going to be a productive year for both Zhang Lijia and Ian Johnson as they are going to publish their long-awaited books. Both are very well versed in documenting cultural change in China, a development that often remain undetected for the outside world.
Feminism is on the rise in China, and much has changed for the better, tells author and journalist Zhang Lijia of the upcoming novel Lotus: A Novel, in TakePart.Com, in an issue on feminism in China. But too many things have not yet changed, or change too slowly.
Zhang Lijia´s upcoming novel Lotus: A Novel will only appear early 2017, but the first raving reviews are already coming in. Renowned Indian author Amitav Ghosh praises the story the main figure migrant Lotus and the way she ends up in prostitution.
China´s country-side has a generation of left-behind children, children who grew up while their parents worked in the big cities, some with their grandparents, some even alone. Author Zhang Lijia visited four-year old Diandian, who lives with his grandparents and writes up his story at her weblog.
The 50-year anniversary of the Cultural Revolution has passed mostly in silence. China media mentioned briefly the event was with hindsight not a good idea, much of the families of Chinese leader – including the Xi family – suffered from it, but talking to victims is not easy discovered the Globe&Mail. Author Zhang Lijia comments.
Author Zhang Lijia enthusiastically reviews on her weblog Eight Juxtapositions: China Through Imperfect Analogies: Penguin Specials by Jeff Wasserstrom. “In the final chapter entitled The People’s Pope and Big Daddy Xi, he compared the Chinese Communist Party with the Catholic Church and the president Xi with the Pope.”
In her upcoming book Lotus author Zhang Lijia explores the life of Chinese sex workers, taking the life of her grandmother, a concubine, as a starting point. On the weblog Zhen de Gender, she explains what it took to do her research. “Prostitution is just a device, a window to show the tensions and the changes.”
Next year author Zhang Lijia will publish her novel Lotus, on sex workers in southern China, inspired by her grandmother. Caijing interviews her about this inspiration and about how sex changed in China.
The government has tried to keep the lid on the gruesome events during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)- even though much of the current leadership has suffered personally. But much of the younger Chinese have no clue. Author Zhang Lijia looks for Al Jazeera how things are changing, very slowly.