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June 2015: Murong Xuecun 慕容雪村


Murong Xuecun 慕容雪村 is the nom de plume of Hao Qun, one of China’s first internet-based writers. A prominent social critic, he is known for his defence of freedom of expression. His debut novel, Leave Me Alone: A Novel of Chengdu 成都,今夜请将我遗忘, published online in 2002, became a cult hit and was subsequently published in print, with more than one million copies sold. It has been translated into English, French, German, Portuguese and Vietnamese, and is published in the UK by MakeDo Publishing, translated by Harvey Thomlinson.


Murong has been a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times since 2013. You can find an index of his articles here. He discusses his writing and reading here.

The story we have chosen for our June bookclub is an extract from his latest novel Dancing Through Red Dust 原谅我红尘颠倒,  which is made up of a patchwork of incidents and characters. This is one such incident, telling of an accident and its aftermath. It was translated by Harvey Thomlinson and first published in English in the Guardian.

To give us a taste of the novel, MakeDo Studios writes that 'Dancing Through Red Dust delves into the secretive world of China’s legal system. Lawyer Wei Da destroys evidence, hides his assets and plans to flee China. About to escape, he is incarcerated in the horrific Cao River Remand Centre. The worst of human nature is exhibited here and even as Wei Da tries to atone, the day of his execution encroaches.'

Dancing Through Red Dust-Cover(46p)-20150624

We're delighted that both Murong and Harvey will be joining us in Leeds for our Writing Chinese Symposium, and will be speaking at our public event on Saturday July 4th.

(The event is free, but please RSVP at our online store or  if you'd like to attend. The registration deadline is June 30th.)