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Beijing Comrades by Bei Tong

Beijing Comrades

by Bei Tong

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Riveting, a compelling page turner. A masterpiece of contemporary Chinese literature. Though set in Beijing you don't get a strong view of the city itself.This is modern Chinese queer writing at its best. Beijing Comrades encapsulates the worldviews, memories, and angst of the gay community in the making. This translation reads like magic. The prose is outstanding and actually feels like American writing rather than a stiff translation of a Chinese work.Bei Tong's frank depictions of gay sex are powerfully liberating. No shame. No euphemisms. No apologies. Handong, the protagonist, is an arrogant, young, wealthy businessman born to high-ranking communist cadres. He is confused about his sexual identity and goes from women to men to women and back to men again and again. In the process he does grow from a self centered unfeeling man to a man who finds a tempestuous love with a much younger man. I won't spoil the ending so I will leave it at that but the book is a must read. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Apr 7, 2016 |
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"When Handong, a ruthless and wealthy businessman, is introduced to Lan Yu, a naive, working-class architectural student-the attraction is all consuming. Arrogant and privileged, Handong is unsettled by this desire, while Lan Yu quietly submits. Despite divergent lives, the two men spend their nights together, establishing a deep connection. When loyalties are tested, Handong is left questioning his secrets, his choices, and his very identity. Beijing Comrades is the story of a torrid love affair set against the sociopolitical unrest of late-eighties China. Due to its depiction of gay sexuality and its critique of the totalitarian government, it was originally published anonymously on an underground gay website within mainland China. This riveting and heartbreaking novel, circulated throughout China in 1998, quickly developed a cult following, and remains a central work of queer literature from the People's Republic of China. This is the first English-language translation of Beijing Comrades. Bei Tong is the anonymous author of Beijing Comrades. The author's real-world identity has been a subject of ongoing debate since the novel was first published. Scott E. Myers is a translator of Chinese who focuses on contemporary queer fiction from the PRC. Petrus Liu is an associate professor of humanities at Yale-NUS College, Singapore"--… (more)

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