In January this year I restarted blogging after a considerable absence from all things digital. Back in the mid 2000s I was fairly prolific on the China blogging scene with my two blogs Yellow Wings and Sinocidal, but stopped writing by 2008. Some readers may be wondering why I decided to return to blogging after such a long hiatus…
The answer, of course, is because I have something to sell.
I’m very pleased to announce that August will see the release of my first book – Party Members. It is being published by Taiwan-based Camphor Press who are an independent publishing house focused on East Asia as well as being the guys behind the fantastic literature review site Bookish.asia.
Party Members is quite different from the regular books out there that are concerned with China. You can expect all the dark wit and venom that you’ll find within my normal writing. Party Members is a fictional story about a mid-level government official called Yang Wei who lives in the backwards city of Huaishi (first mentioned in my Dumplings short story). Yang Wei is a mediocre government official in a mediocre job. However, one day his content life of bureaucratic monotony is shattered by an encounter with the advanced consumer goods he has long been deprived of.
Aided by the cynical advice of a very unlikely mentor, Yang Wei embarks on a journey of greed, corruption, and murder that ultimately takes him to the diseased underbelly of Chinese society.
This is dark comic fantasy about a world where to get rich is glorious, no matter who gets hurt in the process. Designer handbags, sex, karaoke and shady property deals combine to paint a picture of modern China unlike anything seen before.
I really wanted to write something different to what is currently out there regarding China. Readers can expect a black comedy that draws on American Psycho, Fight Club, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, Kafka and even a bit of Lu Xun for good measure.
I shall release more details about the book in the run-up to the release in August and if anybody has any questions they can contact me via the “Contact” tab at the top of this page.
In the meantime, here’s a preview of the cover which features an original artwork by the dissident Chinese artist Badiucao. Badiucao recently did the artwork for the acclaimed documentary movie Hooligan Sparrow, so you can see I’m in pretty good company. It’s a wonderful piece of design and will give you a flavour on what to expect.
Another UPDATE! It’s now on iTunes too for pre-order.