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The Uninvited

by Geling Yan

A deep insight into the struggles facing modern day China. Dan Dong finds himself embroiled in the 'Banquet Bug' fiasco, desperately trying to earn money in this strange subsection of Chinese society. Dan finds himself mixed up with a famous artist who is being hunted down due to his political statements.
On the surface this seems quite an interesting and easy read, but after a while you start to think about the deeper meanings.

Extract

The banquet is hosted by a nonprofit organisation that supports young bird-watchers. The hotel lobby is decorated with paintings donated by famous artists. As he walks with the crowds towards the banquet hall, Dan sees the receptionist checking the journalists' ID cards. Her eyes flick between the persons and the pictures as she is explains the new policy. Two days ago, a man faked a press pass and got into the Great Hall of the People while the People's Consultative Congress was in session. He was protesting against a provincial Party leader's corruption. From now on, every reporter has to have his ID card as well as his business card in order to attend press conferences and banquets.
Dan walks away from the entrance. The name on his ID doesn't match his business card. He can make the excuse of having left his ID card home, and chances are the girl will let him in. But what if she doesn't? What if her real reason for requesting ID card is to track down people like him? Maybe others have already noticed some strange journalists who have never published anything but who show up at every conference and eat every banquet?

Parallels

The Kitchen God's wife by Amy Tan
20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo
 

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