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January 09 , 2011

Points of Origin


A letter-writing campaign goes awry when a law is passed that only allows people to walk the streets at night, if they maintain a squatting position at all times...

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Diao Dou’s short stories perform a kind of high-wire literary acrobatics; each one executes an immaculate mid-air transition, from closely observed social realism to surrealist parody, and back again. Covering all aspects of modern Chinese life – from the high-minded morals of an emerging middle class, to the vividly remembered hardships of an all-too-recent collectivist past – these stories offer a very particular window into the contemporary Chinese psyche, and show a culture struggling to keep pace with the extraordinary transformations that have befallen it in the space of a single lifetime.

Diao Dou is wildly regarded as one of China’s leading satirists, praised for his refusal to follow any of the numerous literary trends that often dominate the Chinese literary scene.

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