China Culture Center
On 15 April 2017 I joined the book talk “Lotus by Lijia Zhang” organized by the China Culture Center. I was very much attracted by the title “China’s underground sex industry” as I know quite a bit myself about the topic. I was a bit surprised Ms. Zhang Lijia (as I prefer to call her) could publish a book about it and freely talk about this sensitive topic. The event was well organized, small crowd but just right to have a proper Q&A.
I was certainly not disappointed and gladly bought her book that she kindly signed.
More about her: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lijia_Zhang
My take on Lotus by Lijia Zhang
After so many years I finally read the book. Yes it is a novel and I was fascinated till the end as I was eager to know how the story would end. (I won’t tell you!)
The book is one of those that discourage me. Being a writer myself and vaguely planning to write a kind of novel/love story, I feel so poorly able to write anything after reading Lotus. Yes, it it took her some twelve years to write the novel. But how she could develop the story with all the details fascinates me and leaves me with a sense of helplessness. There are many details in the story that sound very familiar to me so I can say she knows what she is talking about. Contrary to what other book reviews may say, see further, the depiction of the individuals is pretty realistic, the way they act and feel. That is how many Chinese really are. As mentioned in SCMP: “Male sexuality in the novel is either brutish or monkish. This may be a function of the setting, but in a novel of sexual empathy, this feels like a structural flaw.” I tend to disagree because I see it the same way as the author. Many aspects of the attitudes of the people depicted are very realistic. That is how some segments of Chinese society are.
In other words, a thumbs up for the book. Great stuff, at times I felt emotional as some scenes seemed all too familiar.
See here the book review done by South China Morning Post, in the PDF you find the link to the original article: 170104 LotusSCMP
So I do not fully agree with the review.
The author has been touring around the world to promote her book and it is now published in several languages.
See here some pics from her visit earlier this year to Vilnius to launch the Lithuanian version.