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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Milestones on a Golden Road

Writing for Chinese Socialism, 1945-80

In Milestones on a Golden Road, Richard King presents pivotal works of fiction published under the watchful eye of China’s Communist regime between 1945 and 1980. Addressing questions of literary production, King looks at how writers dealt with shifting ideological demands, what indigenous and imported traditions inspired them, and how they were able to depict a utopian Communist future to their readers, even as the present took a very different turn. Early “red classics” were followed by works featuring increasingly lurid images of joyful socialism, and later by fiction exposing the Mao era as an age of irrationality, arbitrary rule, and suffering – a Golden Road that had led to nowhere.


Table of Contents

Introduction: The Road and the Writer

Part 1: The War Years and the Search for Form, 1945-48

1   Ma Feng and Xi Rong, Heroes of Lüliang, and “Revolutionary Popular Literature”

2   Zhou Libo, Hurricane, and the Creation of a Chinese Socialist Realism

Part 2: The Great Leap Forward and the Stuff of Heroism, 1959-62

3   Li Zhun’s “A Brief Biography of Li Shuangshuang”: A Fast-talking Vixen Creates a Village Canteen

4   Hu Wanchun’s “A Man of Outstanding Quality”: Pavel, but not Rita, and certainly not Ingrid, in the Shanghai Dockyards

Part 3: The Cultural Revolution and the Spirit of Struggle, 1972-76

5   Hao Ran on The Golden Road: Transformations in Rural China

6   Zhang Kangkang at The Dividing Line: A Bold Leap into Troubled Waters

Part 4: After Mao: Reversing Judgements, 1979-80

7   Chen Guokai’s The Price: The Flood of Tears

8   Zhang Yigong’s The Story of the Criminal Li Tongzhong: Work with the Spade

Epilogue: A Golden Road to Nowhere

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