Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

The Fat Years, by Chan Koonchung

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The Fat Years is a profoundly disturbing novel. It has been banned in mainland China and officially has not been published there. However, the author has said digital copies were disseminated “on the Internet within the “Chinese firewall” before being deleted. Koonchung does not speculate who specifically deleted his novel, but the title of an article by him, “Chinese Author: My Book Was Banned in My Home Country”, strongly implicates the Chinese authorities.

It is a cross between Science Fiction, a mystery and satire. Not knowing enough about Chinese history to judge which aspects are being satirized, I could only assume it is set in a dystopian future China. The mystery aspects of the novel are secondary to the futuristic, imaginative premise and the sub-texts of class struggle and freedom of access to information…(Continue reading…)

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