Monday, July 28, 2008

Catherine Sampson's top 10 books on Beijing

Catherine Sampson, a crime novelist who lives in China, named her top 10 books on Beijing for the Guardian.

Number One on her list:
Beijing Coma by Ma Jian

Published this year, Ma Jian describes the events that led up to the 1989 massacre in Beijing. He has found the perfect metaphor. Dai Wei, a student activist, lies paralysed years after being wounded during the army action of June 4. Those around him believe Dai Wei to be unconscious, but he can see and hear and, most importantly, remember. He is locked in - just as China is locked in - unable to speak or communicate freely, but silently remembering, unable to forget. The novel is rich in contemporary detail – doctors who gouge families for cash for treatment; bulldozers that threaten demolition of homes. Like much of the book, the intricate description of factional rivalries among students is rooted in fact. Ma Jian lives in London.
Read about the other nine titles on Sampson's list.

Read about Sampson's top 10 list of Asian crime fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue