Category Archives: literature

NPR: The underbelly of contemporary China, review Lotus by Zhang Lijia

More reviews are coming in of author Zhang Lijia´s Lotus: A Novel, about prostitution in China, this time from the NPR. The reviewer is rightfully impressed. “We can count ourselves lucky to get this glimpse into the fascinating world of Lotus.”

The monthly trip of Liu Xia – Ian Johnson

Award-winning journalist Ian Johnson reports in ChinaFile on the monthly trip poet Liu Xia makes to visit her husband, Nobel price winner Lui Xiaobo, and her slowly increasing production of new poems. “A small, fragile woman with extremely short-cropped hair that sets off her high cheekbones and bright, wide eyes.”

Making banned documentaries – Ian Johnson interviews Ai Xiaoming

Ai Xiaoming is one of China´s leading documentary makers, and all of them are officially banned in the country. Journalist Ian Johnson sits down with her for the NY Review of Books and discusses how it is to make banned documentaries, and (amongst many other subjects) why China has no intellectuals.

Facebook blocks famous Chinese writer – Ian Johnson

Facebook has suspended the account of the exiled Chinese author Liao Yiwu, writes journalist Ian Johnson in the New York Times. Not or the first time, the censorship of the internet giant hits the wrong person. Liao opposes the move: “I didn’t knuckle under the Communist Party, and I won’t knuckle under Facebook.”

The poor mental health of migrant factory workers – Zhang Lijia

Former factory worker, and now author Zhang Lijia looks on her weblog into the fate of Xu Lizhi, a 24-year old Foxconn worker, who of many who jumped to death on September 20. Xu was not only a migrant worker, but also a poet, she tells us.

Why Chinese do not read books anymore – Zhang Lijia

In volumes, quality and quantity China’s book industry might have exploded, but Chinese are no longer reading books, concludes The Atlantic, quoting the author Zhang Lijia on how a changing China changed book-reading habits.

Writing in English: gaining political, literally freedom – Zhang Lijia

Why are you mostly writing in English, is a question author Zhang Lijia, a native from Nanjing, often has to answer. In English: “I can be bold and adventurous”, she writes for the English Editing Blog.

Writing on China’s seedy past – Paul French

“A chronicler of China’s seedy past,” author Paul French is called in a raving review in The Atlantic. His latest book “Midnight in Peking” became a candidate for the Edgar Award in the “Best Fact Crime” category.

Beijing Badlands and their characters – Paul French

Author Paul French explains in the Wall Street Journal more about the characters in his bestseller Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China. “We are missing this massive component of the foreign experience in China [in the 1930s]”

Literature is literature, no government critique – Zhang Lijia

The Nobel prize winner 2012 for literature Mo Yan has been criticized by some, because he is not taking enough distance from the Chinese government. Nonsense, says author Zhang Lijia in the LA Times and VOA. “Literature is literature.”