Praise for Lotus
Lijia Zhang has always written perceptively about aspects of China that few outsiders know about. In Lotus, an absorbing novel about provincials lost in the big city, she reveals a gift for intimate portraiture and compassionate sympathy.
Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire and The Romantics
"I was very touched by the story of this lowly sex worker s noble pursuit in finding her own path and her own worth. As a writer who writes in both Chinese and English, I find the prose, spiced by Chinese sayings, deliciously refreshing."
Geling Yan, celebrated Chinese author of several acclaimed books, including The Flowers of War and Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl, which have been adapted for the screen
Lijia Zhang s Lotus tells the life of a streetwalker working the beat in the thriving town of Shenzhen under a blazing hot sun, dealing with lusting men good, bad, and ugly. One comes to love India because of Arundhati Roy s The God of Small Things, and one will surely love the hot and humid Southern China of Zhang s invention, through this brilliant novel. You will cry and in the end, laugh in celebration not just of the winning characters, but of Zhang s true gift as an essential novelist of this world.
Da Chen, New York Times bestselling author of Colors of the Mountain, Brothers and My Last Empress
Lotus is a rollicking, sexy novel, but it s not just another fun read. The novel provides so much insight into the underside of China s roaring economy and the immense pressure on young migrants to get rich quick. In Lijia Zhang s tour of the sex industry, you ll find not only sleaze, but soul.
Barbara Demick, author of the National Book Award finalist Nothing to Envy and former China bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times
"Lotus is a wonderfully readable and perceptive novel about an aspect of contemporary China that remains largely invisible to the outsider. Although it pulls no punches it is saturated with the spirit of stoic optimism that sustains millions of rural migrants around the world."
Amitav Ghosh, author of the bestselling Ibis trilogy and the Man Booker Prize finalist Sea of Poppies
Lotus reflects an authentic China. Rooted in Chinese culture, author Lijia Zhang also knows how to tell the story in a way palatable to western readers. The characters and images in the book are of literary creation, but her dissection of contemporary Chinese society is impressively precise.
Yan Lianke, author of Serve the People, Lenin s Kisses, Dream of Ding Village, shortlisted for 2016 Man Booker International Prize
"In this sensitive novel about a young prostitute, Lijia Zhang gives us a window into a China that few people inside or outside the country can imagine: a land of underground sex trade, corrupt police, desperate migrants, and flawed characters trying to make the right decisions. This novel is a deep dive into China's spiritual crisis, and how people are looking for answers in religion and through acts of kindness and courage in their daily lives."
Ian Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao
Praise for Socialism Is Great!
Ambitious Zhang s memoir, with its arc of resistance and personal struggle, begins where [Jung Chang s Wild Swans and Nien Cheng s Life and Death in Shanghai] leave off. The New York Times Book Review
Socialism is Great! is a riveting tale. The Wall Street Journal Asia
Her quest for freedom [is] a tale that crackles with insight and wit. The Washington Post
"Gentle, funny and wry." Arundhati Roy, author of God of Small Thing
Required reading. Amitav Ghosh, the author of The Sea of Poppies
A literary gem. Da Chen, author of Colors of the Mountain
"A beautiful memoir of...a young woman coming of age in a nation desperately trying to do the same." Peter Hessler, Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker and author of Oracle Bones
"Truly original.... A sharply observant and admirably crafted memoir." Jonathan Spence, author of The Death of Woman Wang