“It’s an extraordinary collection of short stories, which would be valuable for their literary merits even if they didn’t also provide a window onto China. The stories aren’t of a single genre. Some of them are what you would expect from a gifted journalist who’s taking stories in the news and putting a fictional spin on them. There is one story about a rural inventor—and I remember reading news reports about rural inventors, people in the countryside who put their energy into coming up with these amazing devices. That’s a charming story, but it’s not unexpected from a journalist. But there are a couple of other stories that veer toward science fiction or magical realism.” Read more...
The Best China Books of 2021