Xue Yiwei, A Chinese – Canadian storyteller born and brought up in Hunan Province of China. But after his graduation in Computer Science at Beijing University, he studied English literature in Université de Montréal. He has authored 16 books including four novels and five story collections. These books have received him a great appreciation from Chinese people. This wide readership had taken his short story collections and essays in critics’ Top 10 lists in Asia. He moved to Montréal as a safe heaven to write his heart’s content as he couldn’t do the same after getting turned down by publishers for his novel Dr. Bethune’s Children because the attitude of the novel’s expatriate narrator was judged as harmful to China’s reputation. Though this was not the first case as he was walking the thin line between unfettered self-expression and maintaining a readership in China since 1989 when he started his literary career.
The book I am putting up on this TBR list is a short story collection titled Shenzheners. This is translated into English by Darryl Sterk is about people from Shenzhen city. Shenzhen is the young city in Hong Cong which got declared as Special Economic Zone in 1980 as an experiment to introduce capitalism to Communist China. A city in which everyone is a newcomer, Shenzhen has grown astronomically to become a major metropolitan centre. Hailed as a Chinese Dubliners, the original collection was named one of the Most Influential Chinese Books of the Year in 2013, with most of the stories appearing in Best Chinese Stories.
Cover of book is very appealing with name Shenzheners appearing in red color written in a stylized font over a background of an odd shade of blue. Abstract human figure sketches on the cover depict the facelessness of the astronomically grown metropolitan city of Shenzhen. With the nice stories having very simple titles like ‘The country girl’, ‘The peddler’, ‘The dramatist’; Shenzheners seems to be the splendid read. I am very eager to get my hands on the copy of this book.
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Linda Leith Pub Inc (9 September 2016)
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