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The Bookworm Proudly Presents: Murong Xuecun, China’s “Laureate of Corruption”

Murong Xuecun Portrait Session

Outspoken author and commentator Murong Xuecun, who the New York Times calls China’s “laureate of corruption,” will be at The Bookworm on Wednesday, October 21 to give a talk on Dancing Through Red Dust, his first English-language book in six years.

Originally published in 2008, Dancing Through Red Dust is a novel that probes the secretive world of China’s legal system, featuring Mahjong, murder, and an in-depth look inside a horrific incarceration center.

Moderating the book talk will be New York Times‘ Beijing Bureau Chief Edward Wong, who coined the phrase “laureate of corruption” to describe Murong in a 2011 profile that begins:

When the novelist Murong Xuecun showed up at a ceremony here late last year to collect his first literary prize, he clutched a sheet of paper with some of the most incendiary words he had ever written.

It was a meditation on the malaise brought on by censorship. “Chinese writing exhibits symptoms of a mental disorder,” he planned to say. “This is castrated writing. I am a proactive eunuch, I castrate myself even before the surgeon raises his scalpel.”

The ceremony’s organizers forbade him to deliver the speech. On stage, Mr. Murong made a zipping motion across his mouth and left without a word. He then did with the speech what he had done with three of his best-selling novels, all of which had gone through a harsh censorship process: He posted the unexpurgated text on the Internet. Fans flocked to it.

Tickets for the talk can be purchased at The Bookworm or online via Yoopay. You can reserve by calling 6503 2050 or emailing [email protected]. For more information, please email [email protected].

Wednesday, October 21, 7:30 pm

50 RMB (40 RMB members) – purchase tickets here

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