336 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 in
March 12, 2014
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385534345
ISBN - 13: 9780385534345
About the Book
Banned in China, this controversial and politically charged novel tells the story of the search for an entire month erased from official Chinese history. A kind of "Brave New World" reflecting the China of our times, "The Fat Years" is a complex novel of ideas that reveals all too chillingly the machinations of the postmodern totalitarian state.
Read from the Book
1.Two Years from Now Someone not seen in a long time “One whole month is missing. I mean one whole month of 2011 has disappeared, it’s gone, it can’t be found. Normally February follows January, March follows February, April follows March, and so on. But now after January it’s March, or after February it’s April . . . Do you understand what I’m saying—we’ve skipped a month!” “Fang Caodi, just forget it,” I said. “Don’t go looking for it. It’s not worth it. Life’s too short; just look after yourself.” No matter how clever I was, I could never change Fang Caodi. Then again, if you really wanted to search for a missing month, Fang Caodi would be the one to do it. In his life, he’d probably spent quite a few missing months just existing. He was always turning up unexpectedly in odd places like he had vanished for a million years and was being reborn just when you were least expecting him. Maybe someone like him really could accomplish such a politically unfashionable task as restoring a missing month. The thing is, at first I didn’t really notice that a whole month was missing. Even if other people told me about it, I wasn’t ready to believe them. Every day I read the papers and checked the Internet news sites; every night I watched CCTV and the Phoenix Channel, and I hung around with intelligent people. I didn’t think that any major event had escaped my notice. I believed in myself—my knowledge, my wisdom, and my independent judgment. * * *
From the Publisher
Banned in China, this controversial and politically charged novel tells the story of the search for an entire month erased from official Chinese history.
Beijing, sometime in the near future: a month has gone missing from official records. No one has any memory of it, and no one could care less—except for a small circle of friends, who will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of the sinister cheerfulness and amnesia that have possessed the Chinese nation. When they kidnap a high-ranking official and force him to reveal all, what they learn—not only about their leaders, but also about their own people—stuns them to the core. It is a message that will astound the world.
A kind of Brave New World reflecting the China of our times, The Fat Years is a complex novel of ideas that reveals all too chillingly the machinations of the postmodern totalitarian state, and sets in sharp relief the importance of remembering the past to protect the future.
About the Author
CHAN KOONCHUNG is a novelist, journalist, and screenwriter. Born in Shanghai and raised and educated in Hong Kong, he studied at the University of Hong Kong and Boston University. He has published more than a dozen Chinese-language books and in 1976 founded the monthly magazine City in Hong Kong, of which he was the chief editor and then publisher for twenty-three years. He has been a producer on more than thirteen films. Chan Koonchung now lives in Beijing.
“Smart, incendiary . . . Although The Fat Years clearly owes a debt to Brave New World, Chan's characters are infinitely more believable, and drawn with a real sense of sympathy and understanding — something Huxley's archetypes famously lacked. As for plausibility, The Fat Years is almost too believable . . . An urgent clarion call for people in every country to treasure their individuality.”—NPR"Chan has crafted a cunning caricature of modern China, with its friction between communism and consumerism, its desire to reframe the Revolution in terms of 'market share and the next big thing.' But he has also identified a deeper dislocation, one stretching from China to the world."—Los Angeles Times"With its offbeat puzzle and diverting characters, The Fat Years is not only absorbing in its own right, it also shines reflected light on the foibles of the West."—The New York Times Book Review"Inventive and highly topical."—The Wall Street Journal "A fascinating tale of China just over the horizon." —The New Yorker"Part political thriller, part dystopian nightmare . . . Chan reveals the moral and political perils of contemporary Chinese life."—Publishers Weekly"Eerily prescient. . . A gripping, if not terrifying, treatise on the rise of China, present and future."—Toronto Star"Possibly the most audacious book to have been published by a Chinese author not living in exile since Lu Xun excoriated the atrophied Confucianism of the early 20th century. . . . This novel isn’t only essentia