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 the Fiction Uncovered 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.
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