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The best books of 2014

2014-12-10 15:57 ChineseTime

The best books of 2014

HE XIANGYANG, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE CHINA WRITERS' ASSOCIATION'S CREATION AND RESEARCH DEPARTMENT

Six Moments in the Life of Ah Q

By Wang Hui

Perhaps the greatest controversy that still surrounds Lu Xun, who became an icon early last century, is his character Ah Q.

"Wang's work examines the context in which we can explore the fable from the 1911 revolution," says He Xiangyang.

The best books of 2014
 

SUN QIAN, SANLITUN PAGE ONE BOOKSTORE MANAGER

I Belonged to You

By Zhang Jiajia

While this heartwarming collection of bedtime stories by micro-blogger Zhang Jiajia was published in November 2013-and many of its stories were already online-the book sold very well this year.

"It's popular because the short stories are unrelated so readers can start with any page, which fits city life's fast pace," says Sun Qian. "Such lighthearted short stories are easier to sell than novels nowadays."

The best books of 2014

SHI LINGKONG, SHANGHAI TRANSLATION PUBLISHING HOUSE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

L' Horizon

By Patrick Modiano, translated by Xu Hejin

Patrick Modiano has long been esteemed by China's literati but was less known among general readers before winning this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. "Modiano is regarded as a Marcel Proust of our time. And, interestingly, Xue Hejin happens to also be the translator of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past," Shi Lingkong says. "Xu's translation beautifully and accurately conveys the essence of Modiano's words."

The best books of 2014

AH YI, NOVELIST, AUTHOR OF GREY STORIES AND THE BIRDS SAW ME

Poems for Kids

Selected and compiled by Bei Dao

Bei Dao compiled the 101 poems by 57 poets. The book has sold more than 50,000 copies since it was published in July-an astonishing figure for the genre. "The book is a key to the door of poetry for Chinese children," Ah Yi says. "Bei Dao is an extraordinary poet, which makes him the best person to recommend poems to kids."
 

The best books of 2014

QINGQUAN QIANJING, COLUMNIST, TRANSLATOR OF DECLUTTER

Flowers, Blossoms, Pots and Jars: Shen Congwen on Art and Antiques

By Shen Congwen

Most Chinese know Shen Congwen (1902-1988) as one of the country's greatest modern writers. Fewer know him as an expert on antiques, a pursuit he delved into for 40 years after 1949. The book compiles more than 40 of Shen's articles about antiques and Chinese folk culture. It also has more than a hundred photos. "His articles are not rigid and abstruse like other academic studies. They combine the lyrical style of writing with the scientific method," Qingquan Qianjing says.
 

The best books of 2014

LU NEI, AUTHOR OF THE ROAD: JUVENILE BABYLON

Meet the Junzi: Poems and People in the Past

By Zhang Dinghao

Zhang Dinghao shares thoughts on ancient Chinese poetry and poets.

"This is a book with the most sincere sentiments," says Lu Nei.

"Since President Xi Jinping held a forum on art and literature advocating the promotion the Chinese traditional culture, we can see how a young scholar becomes close to the best of the best poets of the past."
 

The best books of 2014

WANG HONGBO, CHINA READING WEEKLY SENIOR EDITOR

Empty Nest

By Xue Yiwei

Empty-nest syndrome has become a social issue in China since most families have only one child due to family-planning policies introduced in the 1980s.

The whole story happens in a single day, when an elderly woman receives a phonecall from a fraudster. By depicting the woman's flashbacks and inner conflicts, the plotline presents a thorough reflection upon her generation. "It's not only about empty-nest syndrome," Wang Hongbo says. "The author's discovery of life and history is beneath the surface."
 

The best books of 2014

WANG HONGTU, FUDAN UNIVERSITY CREATIVE WRITING PROFESSOR

I'm a Stranger to Myself

By Zhang Yiwei

The book is Zhang's third prose collection in which she reflects upon her experience of living in two cities. Zhang is a Shanghainese who lives in Taipei, where she's studying for her PhD in Chinese Literature there. "Prose is a more direct expression of Zhang's thinking than her novels," Wang Hongtu says. "Her words are magical, smooth and beautiful."
 

The best books of 2014

PENG LUN, GRANTA MAGAZINE'S CHINESE EDITION'S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

The Leaf

By Ma Daishu

The Leaf is a wordless graphic novel about a lonely young man and his sense of belonging in a labyrinthine city painted in grays and blues. It's a world of industrial piping that changes when the man finds a leaf that emits light. He discovers the city's secret and the power of a single leaf in this industrialized world.

"The pencil shading punctuated with a spot of color creates a unique aesthetic. The book is a meaningful urban fable," Peng Lun says.

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