Book Reviews


Brave New China

 •  November 27

“To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric,” said the German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno in 1949. In the dystopian parable “Death Fugue,”...

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Through the Gates of a Chinese Hell

 •  August 29

London -- In 2009, the Chinese author Ma Jian was traveling through China's poverty-stricken countryside when he saw the body of a newborn girl...

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Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao’s Great Famine, By Yang Jisheng

 •  January 25

In 1959, Yang Jisheng watched the uncle who raised him starve to death during Mao's Great Famine. In 2008, he published Tombstone in Chinese in Hong...

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Weiwei-isms, By Ai Weiwei

 •  January 11

Last summer, I interviewed the maverick Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei in his Beijing studio. The interview marked a year after Ai's release...

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Absurdist China

 •  November 8

Life is nothing but a circus. Such is the message of Yan Lianke's absurdist "Lenin's Kisses," a tale of political lunacy and greed set in modern-day...

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Profiles in Nuance

 •  September 20

"Chinese Characters" begins with a cautionary tale of the prominent American historian John K. Fairbank, who looked back over his years in China in...

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Pauline Chen reworks a classic of Chinese literature

 •  September 16

In this modern adaptation of the 18th-century Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber, life for the aristocratic characters is described as akin to...

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How the power of “me” drives the new China

 •  August 1

In Age of Ambition journalist Evan Osnos recalls a Chinese friend asking him which cities he should visit on his next trip to the United States....

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Sleuthing China’s Environmental Scandals

 •  June 7

Bestselling crime writer Qiu Xiaolong has gripped readers in the West for over a decade with his Inspector Chen character, the winsome detective who...

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Nanjing Requiem, By Ha Jin The Flowers of War, By Geling Yan

 •  January 20

Ha Jin's novel Nanjing Requiem begins with the words of a Chinese servant boy, Ban, forced to witness an orgy of pillage and murder as the victorious...

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