Buys Rights to Chinese Novel
Straits Times (Singapore)
September 7, 2005 Wednesday
Call it the march of the Penguin.
British publisher has purchased the English-language rights to
China's bestselling novel The Wolf Totem for US$100,000
(S$168,000) - the biggest overseas book deal in China.
Jiang Rong's 2004 novel about the struggle for life on the
Mongolian grasslands will appear in English from 2007, said his
The tale, built around the lives of wolves, is told through the
eyes of a student sent to work in Inner Mongolia during the
1966-76 Cultural Revolution.
The sale marks a breakthrough in foreign interest in modern
Most foreign translations of China's books deal with cultural
studies, history, food or traditional arts and crafts, though
there has been some interest in sensationalistic novels by a few
young female writers.
In China, The Wolf Totem has sold more than a million copies and
topped bestseller lists for months.
Critics have praised its exploration of the human-animal
relationship and its accuracy, details and spiritual
Businessmen see its accounts of wolf packs' stalking and killing
as a metaphor for survival and success in China's corporate
First-time author Jiang, 58, a Beijing University professor,
lived in Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution. He spent
more than 30 years researching and writing the book. -- AP