This book examines the changes taking place in literary writing and publishing in contemporary China under the influence of the emerging market ecomy. It focuses on the revival of literary best sellers in the Chinese book market and the establishment of a best-seller production machine. The author examines how writers have become cultural entrepreneurs, how state publishing houses are w motivated by commercial incentives, and how second-channel, ufficial publishers and distributors both compete and cooperate with official publishing houses in a dual-track, socialist-capitalist ecomic system. Taken together, these changes demonstrate how ecomic development and culture interact in a postsocialist society, in contrast to the way they work in the mature capitalist ecomies of the West. That ecomic reforms have affected many aspects of Chinese society is well kwn, but this is the first comprehensive analysis of market influences in the literary field. This book thus offers a fresh perspective on the inner workings of contemporary Chinese society.
Shuyu Kong is Assistant Professor of Chinese Literature at the University of Alberta's Department of East Asian Studies.