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Books

The write stuff

By Mei Jia and Yang Guang (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-01-04 17:02
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 The write stuff

2010 was a bumper year for Chinese literature. Here are our top picks, as compiled by Mei Jia and Yang Guang, after talking with some of the country's best-known critics and experts in the publishing industry

Fiction Top 5:

Great-Flowing River

By Chi Pang-yuan, SDX Joint Publishing Company

The author is Taiwan's leading literary translator and researcher on Chinese and English literature. The book is a biography of her family and its migration from Liaoning province to Taiwan, in the past century.

Literary critic Yang Xiaozhou praises the book for its touching power, use of plain language and fresh perspectives.

You Are on the High Land

By Zhang Wei, Writers' Publishing House

Arguably the longest Chinese novel of all time, Zhang Wei's 10-volume magnum opus narrates the vicissitudes experienced by four generations of the Ning family, caught in the currents of the country's political and social transformation over 100 years.

Literary critic Chen Xiaoming describes the novel as the "highland" of Chinese literature.

Snow and Raven

By Chi Zijian, People's Literature Publishing House

The novel focuses on a plague in northeastern China, a century ago.

Veteran literary critic Lei Da considers the book to be one of the year's masterpieces, for it shows the writer's concern for the human condition in the face of disaster, while unveiling the psychology of people living then.

Canticle to the Land

By Fan Wen, Beijing October Arts and Literature Publishing House

The closing novel of Fan Wen's trilogy (after Harmonious Land and Compassionate Land), Canticle to the Land recounts the love, faith, and fate of Yangjenma, the privileged daughter of a Tibetan chieftain, over almost 50 years.

The trilogy, spanning the 20th century and with stories firmly rooted in Tibetan history, is Fan's reward for a decade of immersion in the multicultural wonderland along the Yunnan-Tibet border.

Wind Whisperer

By Mai Jia, Gold Wall Press

Mai Jia is a popular spy novel writer. His newest novel is set against the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945).

It tells of the secret agency Black House's activities in decoding Japanese telegraphs. The heroes behind the scenes are members of the Communist Party.

The book impressed literary critic Li Jingze because of the emphasis on human will power.

Non-fiction Top 5:

RMB Internationalization

By Sun Zhaodong, China Financial and Economic Publishing House

Best-selling financial writer Sun Zhaodong's new book discusses the future of the Chinese currency as a possible international currency, after the end of the global financial crisis.

Sun analyses the background and barriers to the RMB becoming a world currency, in an easy-to-understand way.

Old Stories Retold: My Father Feng Youlan

By Zong Pu, New Star Press

In this essay collection, veteran writer Zong Pu remembers her father, philosopher Feng Youlan (1895-1990), her mother and younger brother.

Rather than being a eulogy, Zong displays different aspects of Feng's personality through the minor incidents in his life.

Yang Shangkun on Historical Events of People's Republic of China

By Su Weimin, Sichuan People's Publishing House

Su Weimin, the former secretary to Yang Shangkun, former Chinese president from 1988-1993, records Yang's account of the significant historical events of China from 1949 to the end of 1970s.

This re-telling of events sets the tone for China today and as such the book is of great historical value.

Zhuang Tze's Pleasures

By Wang Meng, Zhonghua Book Company

The book is a duet of two intellectuals' minds meeting. Established writer Wang Meng interprets the ancient wisdom of Zhuang Tze, who combines the beauty of words and the charm of philosophy in his books. This is mixed with Wang's own humor and insights.

Long March into Space

By Yang Liwei, People's Liberation Army Publishing House

Taikonaut Yang Liwei describes how as a youngster from the countryside who feared heights, he went on to become a history-making national hero.

Key Words

Porcelain    

Tea    Peking Opera

Confucius

Cultural Heritage

Jade  Chinese  New Year

Imperial Palace

Chinese Painting