Black Swan, £7.99
The Fat Years, By Chan Koonchung
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books, 2013, and is currently a judge of the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and the Independent Scholastic New Children's Prize 2014.
Saturday 25 August 2012
Banned by the Chinese authorities, this novel has gained cult status by becoming literary samizat.
A thriller set in post-Tiananmen Square China, the central character of Chen and his cirlce of dissidents set out to investigate how an entire calendar month has managed to go missing from historical records.
The metaphor – of events that can vanish on state orders – extends itself to show how people collude in validating its disappearance.
A potent futuristic satire on the re-ordering of not just history, but time itself.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
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- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 A third of employers never check job applicants' qualifications, survey finds
- 4 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
- 5 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
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American film board gives gay film Love Is Strange R-rating despite no sex or violence
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
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Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women