The Best Books about China: Other Worthwhile Reads

Chinese Bookstores have intriguing categories.

Chinese Bookstores have intriguing categories.

These books did not fit into the categories of post 1, 2 or 3, but are worth reading. Three novels and one true story about China that reads like a novel. Enjoy!

Country side dwellers: The Good Earth- Pearl Buck
A China classic, Buck tells the story of a poor farmer in the countryside in the 1930ies. I imagine that despite the economic rise, there are still millions in China’s countryside leading a similar life, or are but one generation away from it.

Tourists and travelers: Lenin’s Kisses- Yan Lianke
This is a hilarious novel about creating a tourist attraction from scratch. A local village chief decides to buy the embalmed remains of Lenin from Russia and construct a major tourist attraction. For those traversing China by train, Paul Theroux’s Riding the Iron Rooster is a classic.

Romantic souls: A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers- Xiaolu Guo
Reverse Culture Shock. A novel about a Chinese girl who moves to England for study and finds love while being lost in translation.

Storytellers: Mao’s last dancer- Li Cunxin
A beautiful, real-life story about how a boy (Li Cunxin) growing up during the Cultural Revolution in China becomes a major ballet star in the United States. There is also a film made of this, though I haven’t watched it yet.

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