China is hurtling towards the top of the world and everybody is watching with bated breath. But what happens when a suffocating one-party political system reaches its limit? What happens when a whole month has been erased from the calendar? And what happens when not only collective happiness is at its peak but also collective amnesia?
The Tiananmen Square protests on June 4, 1989.
Released in January, Koonchung Chan's political science fiction The Fat Years takes a dystopic stab at what could happen in China _ and probably the world _ in the near future and what it would mean for individual freedom. Not surprisingly, the book was banned in China. Elsewhere, we can find a copy, and since tomorrow marks the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Chan's novel rings like another timely reminder of the social transformation that's taking place in that country.
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