What's it like to live in Shanghai from a native's perspective?
August 12, 2012 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for Chinese literature that presents average Chinese citizens in context of a modern Chinese urban setting

Are there any reasonably-good, recent (translated, semi-translated) Chinese-written literature that have protagonists living in an average, modern Chinese city?
posted by TheOtherSide to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Death of a Red Heroine is set in the mid-'90s in Shanghai and is more than reasonably good. It's part of a crime series; I haven't read the rest yet but intend to.

Lisa See also writes a mystery series set in modern China. I've read Dragon Bones, also good.
posted by snorkmaiden at 6:47 PM on August 12, 2012

Best answer: Try books by Yiyun Li, Qiu Xiaolong (Shanghai from 1989 onwards -- start in order!).

http://asianamlitfans.livejournal.com/ (emphasis on American-Asian literature but some biographies and autobiographies there),
China Reading list and Complete review. (Complete review has literature from other Asian countries too.) (As you may have gathered, I'm obsessed with Eastern Asian literature)
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 12:32 AM on August 13, 2012

I think Cao Zhenglu 曹征路 would be great for this - writes about ordinary working class people in the northeast rustbelt etc., but the only thing in translation I've seen is a collaborative effort online mentioned here which seems to be gone now. Maybe it's somewhere on the Wayback Machine? Realise that's not much of anything, but if you can dig it up it really does stand apart from the usual stuff that ends up in English.
posted by Abiezer at 1:21 AM on August 13, 2012

Just recalled (adding a touch of self-promotion as I've done stuff for them, not that fits your bill though) Pathlight Magazine can be had for free in e-book format. It's new/recent Chinese lit in translation and some of the stories so far will fit your requirements, as will no doubt those in future issues.
posted by Abiezer at 1:36 AM on August 13, 2012

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