Beijing Doll

Beijing Doll

2.5 6
by Chun Sue
     
 

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Banned in China for its candid exploration of a young girl's sexual awakening yet widely acclaimed as being "the first novel of 'tough youth' in China" (Beijing Today), Beijing Doll cuts a daring path through China's rock-and-roll subculture. This cutting edge novel -- drawn from the diaries the author kept throughout her teenage years -- takes readers

Overview

Banned in China for its candid exploration of a young girl's sexual awakening yet widely acclaimed as being "the first novel of 'tough youth' in China" (Beijing Today), Beijing Doll cuts a daring path through China's rock-and-roll subculture. This cutting edge novel -- drawn from the diaries the author kept throughout her teenage years -- takes readers to the streets of Beijing where a disaffected generation spurns tradition for lives of self expression, passion, and rock-and-roll. Chun Sue's explicit sensuality, unflinching attitude towards sex, and raw, lyrical style break new ground in contemporary Chinese literature.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
What matters about this semi-autobiographical coming-of-age "novel," cobbled together from the journal entries of a teenage scribbler who grew up in Beijing in the 1990s, is that it was banned in mainland China, ostensibly for its too-frank portrayal of the sex-drenched, drug-addled and music-obsessed world of that country's materialistic middle-class youngsters. The ban places it alongside two other "cruel youth" Chinese novels, Mian Mian's Candy and Wei Hui's Shanghai Baby, both of which rode their notoriety (and little else) to decent sales in the West. Chun's tale begins near the end of her third year in middle school as she fails her high school entrance exams and promptly embarks on an aimless and relentlessly solipsistic odyssey of love, sex, rock shows and academic disappointments all part of a fight for some hazily defined freedom punctuated here and there with suicide fantasies. There is no sense of either growth or dissolution in any of this, despite the novel's constant claims to both. Chun shows some promise as a writer, as evidenced by bits of refreshing literary experimentation and a surprising command of irony; she has also wooed the respected Goldblatt as translator. Whether she realizes her potential, however, may depend largely on how well she shuts out the dubious praise she has won, in China and abroad, with this book. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Reveals the cruel youth of a new generation...reflects upon the fast changing society of Mainland China." —Asian Weekly

"This original...important book reveals with brutal frankness that the cruelties and frustrations of youth are not lost in translation. —Teen Vogue

"Reading about her adventures is like living vicariously through the most uninhibited girl you know." —YM

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101661994
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/03/2004
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Reveals the cruel youth of a new generation...reflects upon the fast changing society of Mainland China." —Asian Weekly

"This original...important book reveals with brutal frankness that the cruelties and frustrations of youth are not lost in translation. —Teen Vogue

"Reading about her adventures is like living vicariously through the most uninhibited girl you know." —YM

Meet the Author

Chun Sue lives in Beijing and is working on her second novel.

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Beijing Doll 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was not horrible. I was just disappointed that it wasn't edgier. I first heard about this book in an article entitled, 'My Book Was Banned.' From this I expected more, I'm not exactly sure what but I thought there would be a more, 'Me against the world.' I don't want to tell you to read it but I wouldn't reread it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the diary of a young girl who¿s drive to grow up landed her with controlling guys, rash decisions, self-esteem issues, and thoughts of suicide. Her writing style is that of a young woman recollecting her rough teenager years with the stern eye of wisdom and that rebellious personality you¿ll learn to appreciate. Chun Sue takes us under her wing and into her world. If you don¿t want to read about an angst, melancholy, dramatic girl then get lost cause Chun Sue isn¿t selling a happy ending, once upon a time story. She¿s rough, blunt, and downright shocking.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Beijing Doll' was quite possibly one of the biggest disappointments I have ever come across in the literary realm. To being, Chun Sue's writing style is so vague and insipid it hurts. Amounting to little more than the whines and rantings of a spoiled and immature little girl, 'Beijing Doll' outlines the trek of a self-proclaimed 'hardcore rock 'n' roll fan' as she flaunts her almighty 'punkitude.' The plot is so choppily inconsistent and muddled that midway through the book I found myself wondering, 'Where is this going?' The story's overall lack of cohesiveness leaves it floating in the reader's mind with none of its chapters becoming memorable or for that matter even important. If you are looking for characters to relate to in this book, stop looking. There are none as most, if not all of them, are completely despicable. The main character herself shows no actual maturation in the span of the book and remains a peevish child.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Beijing Doll' reads like the diary of an indecisively boy-crazy teenage girl. In order to escape from her oppressively strict high school and to pursue a personal passion, Chun Sue published her musings in local music magazines. A rock music addict who embraced and wrote about the Beijing punk rock scene, Chun Sue depicts much teenage angst and moodiness in 'Beijing Doll,' but seemingly fails to grow out of it. Her voice is fickle in the book, but supported with spurts of vague determination and personal strength. A decent debut and coming-of-age book by a young writer. Any later efforts, though, should be more substantial.