NTA Longlist: Running Through Beijing by Xu Zechen translated by Eric Abrahamsen

Running Through Beijing by Xu Zechen, translated from the Chinese by Eric Abrahamsen (Two Lines Press)

Zechen-running-through-beijing-294-webEric Abrahamsen beautifully renders Duanhuang’s chaotic marathon through Beijing’s unglamorous quarters. This refreshing social critique features a wide array of colorful hustlers dealing in pirated DVDs, fake IDs, and prostitution. Through Duanhuang, we follow the characters’ struggles to rise above their economic conditions as they develop a sense of loyalty and community within a deeply corrupt society. The narrator’s colloquial voice and author’s compassionate portraits emerge with grace through Eric Abrahamsen translation.

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