11 February 2015

In the Pond, by Ha Jin

Shao Bin is a frustrated artist, master calligrapher and cartoonist, who works in a factory in China. He feels mistreated, even abused, by the men who run the factory, and his attempts to get better housing for his family, and improve his life, are constantly frustrated.

This is an unusual novel, a picture of what life in China might be like, or at least what it was like in recent times. It can certainly be seen as a protest against the bureaucratic system there, but there is more going on than just that.

A very fast and enjoyable read.

This is a New York Times review.

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