I’m pretty cynical when it comes to the boldness of China’s expat magazines, so I almost fell off my chair when I saw that Party Members was featured in Shanghai Talk Magazine’s Top Three China Books for 2016.
I have now pulled myself up off the floor and sat back down again.
Wonderful to be sharing the honour with two other books that I have mentioned and rate highly: Isham Cook’s At The Teahouse Cafe and JFK Miller’s Trickle-Down Censorship (both reviewed here previously). They both make fantastic Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa gifts (choose as appropriate) for loved ones in the CCP.
You can see an image of the magazine reviews here on imgur, though you’ll have to grab a copy of Shanghai Talk’s December issue in order to hold the review in your own blessed hands. It’s available from all good Element Fresh outlets and coffee shops across the city. It also may appear on their website in the future. The reviews are written by none other than Tom Carter – editor of the acclaimed Unsavoury Elements (a book I was nearly included in but I threw a hissy fit at the time and watched all the Rocky films back-to-back instead).
Personally, it is refreshing to see one of China’s expat magazines has the boldness to not only feature books that are less than positive about certain aspects of China, but also has the foresight to highlight innovative works from small independent publishers that are otherwise ignored by most media outlets. I have no idea how Shanghai Talk got it past the censors, but I take my hat off to them for doing so. Except I don’t wear a hat. I lost it when I fell off my chair. I’ll raise a glass then.
The Nanfang also ran a review of Party Members recently, though I am sad to say that the announcement was a bittersweet one. At the same time The Nanfang announced that they were closing after seven years of being in the business. I always had a soft spot for The Nanfang – especially when compared to the abysmal Shanghaiist – and I’ll miss its news, views and reviews (good name for a magazine).
If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy my book Party Members – a dark comic fantasy that exposes the corrupt underbelly of modern China.