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,”...

Read more

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...

Read more


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...

Read more

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...

Read more


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...

Read more

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...

Read more


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...

Read more

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....

Read more


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...

Read more

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...

Read more