Paul Mason's Top 10 Books about China
from The Guardian
"If you're trying to understand China the language issues are secondary. The real problem is this is a country ruled through the suppression of historical memory. The Communists' legitimacy rests on the claim that only stultifying bureaucracy and patriarchy can keep it together; that it is "not ready" for democracy; indeed that it was never ready.
"But delve into Chinese literature, and history, and a more much more complex picture emerges. After the May Fourth 1919 protests, the intelligentsia embraced modernity and fought for it. The early 20th century produced the Chinese Dickens and a whole legion of Orwells. The late 20th century produced a generation of novelists whose sufferings during the Cultural Revolution pushed them towards everything from magic realism to cyberpunk.
The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China: The Complete Fiction of Lu Xun (Penguin Classics)
Lu Xun (Lu Hsun) is arguably the greatest writer of modern China, and is considered by many to be the founder of modern Chinese literature. Lu Xun's stories both indict outdated Chinese traditions and embrace China's cultural richness and individuality. This volume presents brand-new translations by Julia Lovell of all of Lu Xun's stories, including 'The Real Story of Ah-Q', 'Diary of a Madman', 'A Comedy of Ducks', 'The Divorce' and 'A Public Example', among others. With an afterword by Yiyun Li.
In 1983, Chinese playwright, critic, fiction writer, and painter Gao Xingjian was diagnosed with lung cancer and faced imminent death.But six weeks later, a second examination revealed there was no cancer—he had won "a second reprieve from death." Faced with a repressive cultural environment and the threat of a spell in a prison farm, Gao fled Beijing and began a journey of 15,000 kilometers into the remote mountains and ancient forests of Sichuan in southwest China. The result of this epic voyage of discovery is Soul Mountain.
Bold, lyrical, and prodigious, Soul Moutain probes the human soul with an uncommon directness and candor and delights in the freedom of the imagination to expand the notion of the individual self.
and 8 more!
from The Guardian