The Book of Shanghai

Edited by Dai Congrong & Dr Jin Li

Out 16th April - pre-order today!


As the end of the world arrives in downtown Shanghai, one man’s only wish is to return a library book...


When a publisher agrees to let a star author use his company’s attic to write in, little does he suspect this will become the author’s permanent residence...


The city succumbs to a seemingly apocalyptic deluge, a man takes refuge in his bathtub, only to find himself, moments later, floating through the streets...


The characters in this literary exploration of one of the world’s biggest cities are all on a mission. Whether it is responding to events around them, or following some impulse of their own, they are defined by their determination – a refusal to lose themselves in a city that might otherwise leave them anonymous, disconnected, alone. 


From the neglected mother whose side-hustle in collecting sellable waste becomes an obsession, to the schoolboy determined to end a long-standing feud between his family and another, these characters show a defiance that reminds us why Shanghai – despite its hurtling economic growth –remains an epicentre for individual creativity.


Translated by: Lee Anderson, Yu Yan Chen, Jack Hargreaves, Paul Harris, Frances Nichols, Christopher Macdonald, Carson Ramsdell, Josh Stenberg, Katherine Tse, and Helen Wang.


Listen to an interview with Chen Qiufan about his story 'State of Trance' for BBC World Service.

One of Translated Lit's Most Anticipated Books of April 2020.

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Book Details

6 Apr 2020