Format: Paperback
Book type: Anthology
ISBN-13: 9781910974193
Published: 07 Sep 2023


RRP: £9.99

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Two former college friends run into each other on the morning train and find themselves reflecting on the very different paths their lives have taken...

A counterfeiter, forever living outside the law, starts to envy a friend who’s managed to get out of the game and establish a normal life... 

A security officer in a futuristic version of Beijing West Railway Station chases down a passenger who the screens say is ‘intentionally lost’...

Beijing may be known to us, in the West, as the political powerhouse of the most populous country in the world, but to the characters in these stories it is a protean city, forever changing,  evasive and difficult to read... It turns close friends into strangers, up-ends carefully thought-out life choices, and leaves next-door neighbours completely unaware of each other’s true identity. The stories collected in this anthology show people in all contexts – from wannabe protestors to future users of facial expression reading tech – desperate to stake their name on the city, as well as surprised by it at every turn.

Featuring translations by Eric Abrahamsen, Paul Harris, Jack Hargreaves, Hongyu Jasmine Zhu, Christopher MacDonald, Carson Ramsdell, Florence Taylor, Alison Sharpless, Katherine Tse, and Helen Wang.

See The Book of Beijing at MLF with Wen Zhen and Gu Shi event HERESee The Book of Beijing at Leeds with Wen Zhen and Gu Shi event HERE


Read Han Song's ‘Reunion’ on Words Without Borders

'The Book of Beijing offers that rare thing; a crystal clear view of our present. Its contributors are writing about one city, but they are writing about all of us.' Joe Darlington in the Manchester Review of Books.

‘A wonderful read; full of powerful, memorable, amusing and insightful stories, it’s entertaining, thought-provoking and gives a real insight into the city of Beijing… highly recommended!!’ - Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings

‘Taken as a whole, these stories give a fascinating insight into the city of Beijing. An ideal read for anyone wanting to visit the city or to sample some of the many talented authors based there.’ - The Crafty Green Poet

‘With contributors ranging from known entities to relative newcomers, the anthology features a motley crew of tales and translators that capture contemporary Beijing in all its glory, warts and all.’ - China Review of Books

‘The volume showcases ten important writers and ten assured translators. The stories’ disparate subjects and styles render a quirky composite portrait of Beijing. Readers seeking unflinching views of this complex megacity will be well rewarded.’ - Cha Journal

Interview with Bingbing Shi on

Listen to translator Carson Ramsdell and Shi Yifeng on the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast.