This Generation: Dispatches from China's Most Popular Literary Star (and Race Car Driver)
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In this rare glimpse behind the Great Firewall, China’s bestselling writer and hero of a new generation describes life in the world’s most populous country.
For those who follow Chinese affairs, Han Han is as controversial as they come—an irreverent singer, sports celebrity, and satirist whose brilliant blogs and books have made him a huge celebrity with more than half a billion readers. Now, with this collection of his essays, Americans can appreciate the range of this rising literary star and get a fascinating trip through Chinese culture.
This Generation gathers his essays and blogs dating from 2006 to the present, telling the story of modern China through Han Han’s unique perspective. Writing on topics as diverse as racing, relationships, the Beijing Olympics, and how to be a patriot, he offers a brief, funny, and illuminating trip through a complex nation that most Westerners view as marching in lockstep. As much a millennial time capsule as an entertaining and invaluable way for English readers to understand our rising Eastern partner and rival, This Generation introduces a dazzling talent to American shores.
methods of publicity are basically just what they were half a century ago, except that we now have ineffectual enhancements like the hacks who get paid a pittance to sing the government’s praises. If the official media command no respect from the younger generation, who can be surprised? Fifty years ago, people were easy to fool. In those days, if People’s Daily had claimed that Quotations from Chairman Mao was circulating so widely in the United States as to trigger its collapse, ninety-eight
Xu Qing: Japan Su Jin: New Zealand Hu Bing: Thailand. That so many stars have acquired foreign passports will doubtless provoke a good deal of negative comment. “Hey, why is this?” people are bound to ask. “It was the Chinese film industry and Chinese audiences that made you famous—how can you turn out in the end to be a foreign national?” I don’t see it that way myself. Never mind the obvious benefits of having a foreign passport, like crossing borders more conveniently, enjoying greater
rooster nor hen are all that bothered about it. But the Diaoyu Islands have often been in the news these last few decades, so public attention is high, particularly after all those scenes on TV of our leaders receiving foreign dignitaries at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. It would be just too embarrassing if after all this fuss Diaoyutai ends up in someone else’s hands, and so pressing the claim for the Diaoyu Islands has become a matter of pride for the government, and I’m confident they won’t
urban high school, where he chafed under the weight of an inflexible curriculum. In 1999 his first-place finish in a national essay contest suggested an alternative to the conventional path of examination preparation and university entry, and soon he made the decision to quit school altogether and pursue a vocation as a creative writer. By that time he had already completed his debut novel, Triple Door, and the book was published when he was just eighteen. A witty and knowing account of rivalry
and romance among a group of Shanghai teenagers, it became an immediate sensation, and other bestsellers followed. In 2003 Han Han added car racing to his portfolio of activities, and since 2005, when he began to maintain a blog, his pungent commentaries on culture, society, and current affairs have won him countless fans. As a blogger, Han Han has written several hundred posts; some have been deleted by the authorities (or “harmonized,” as their author might put it) within an hour of first