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Beijing Books: Chinese Fiction

Beijing Made Easy Books Recommended Chinese Fiction

Beijing Made Easy reviews Beijing and China related books: books set in China or Beijing, books about China, books about Chinese culture and history, books about the Chinese language and Beijing and China travel guides.

Authors and Publishers who wish to have their works reviews by Beijing Made Easy should contact us to arrange for a review copy to be sent to us.

The Noodle Maker

by Ma Jian

A poor state-employed professional writer is told to write about a modern day Lei Feng, the idealistic and selfless revolutionary hero, but he can’t think of anyone to base it on. Through a drink-fuelled night of verbal meanderings in the company of his rich friend the professional blood donor, we meet the cast of the novel he wants to write but sense he is destined never to start – a fascinating collection of characters including among others the entrepreneur who sets up a crematorium using a cast-off kiln from an art school, an editor persecuted by his wife and sadistic to his mistresses, a man obsessed with abandoning his daughter so he can have a son, and a street writer who turns his customers’ love letters into tender and outrageous prose but becomes emotionally trapped by them.

This compelling book manages to be both hilarious and macabre. The excellent translation from Chinese manages to soften its disturbing passages with a delicate turn of phrase, which also ensures that the laughs catch you unawares and so are all the more effective. A book convincingly set in a China emerging from its years of repression, which will you looking forward to the next offering from this very inventive author.

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