Crazy China by Kim Lee, Washington Post

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 China stands on the verge of passing a landmark new domestic violence law, a victory decades in the making that owes much to the extraordinary, and very different, stories of two battered women whose suffering helped prompt a national debate.

Both women were initially turned away by the police when they went for help; both were advised that their wounds were a “family matter” better addressed at home. At that point, however, their stories diverged dramatically.

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Dear Leader by Jang Jin Sung and Shirely, The Sunday Times

FROM Nero to Stalin, the court life of a tyrant can be counted on to produce fascinating literature. That is the case with this extraordinary book, a rare portrait of North Korea, the world’s last hermetic nation. The story carries us from the author — at the time an elite North Korean propagandist — quaffing red wine with the late Kim Jong-il on a private island, to his terrified flight into exile in 2004.

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Emperors Once More by Duncan Jepson

Emperors Once More by Duncan Jepson

Emperors Once More by Duncan Jepson has been shortlisted by the Asian Books Blog as Book of the Lunar Year. To place your vote, please follow the link below:

EMPERORS hc

1988 by Han Han

Congratulations on release of 1988 by Han Han!

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The Unbearable Dreamworld of Champa the Driver by Chan Koonchung, Time Out

The Unbearable Dreamworld of Champa the Driver

Chan Koonchung (translated by Nicky Harman)

 

Chan Koonchung’s first novel, The Fat Years, a dystopian sci-fi thriller about a society enslaved by consumerism and suffering from wilful amnesia, was banned in China. In his latest novel, the author is once again testing boundaries.

 

The present-day tale follows the life of a young man from Lhasa. After taking a driving job for a Han businesswoman in Lhasa, Champa’s life begins to change. Cosmopolitan, car-loving and Mandarin-speaking, he embarks on an affair with his older, status- conscious employer. When he leaves for Beijing, the relationship unravels along with his boyish dreams, which crack under the weight of endemic racism. An illuminating window into society’s complex racial divides. Published by Transworld.

 

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Children of Pyongyang Elite Wield Influence

Not only are the sons and daughters of North Korea’s highest-ranked elite wielding influence outside the sphere of leader Kim Jong Un  – they are also displaying it in public, a news outlet run by a high-profile defector said Tuesday.

The people mentioned in the report have access to external trade and foreign currency and many officials bring money to secure an audience with them. They appear untouchable by law, the report said, even though political factions can be gravely punished in North Korea.

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