The Problem with Me: And Other Essays About Making Trouble in China Today by Han Han, translated and edited by Alice Xin Liu and Joel Martinsen [in Booklist]
Although he was a 1999 national writing-competition winner at 17 and runaway bestselling novelist a year later, Shanghai-based Han couldn’t finish high school. His subsequent rants against the education system, standardized testing, and corrupt bureaucracy earned him widespread acclaim.
At 34, he has added rally-car racing (three-time driver of the year), film directing, album recording, magazine launching, and writing more bestselling nonfiction and fiction to an ever-growing checklist.
He is China’s top blogger for his acumen, humor, and scathing take on topics as diverse as “[d]o only what you like;” bad poets with “logic [that] is breathtakingly messed up;” June 1’s Children’s Day is not enough as “[m]any other days are Crimes Against Children Day;” and being “as lonely as a toilet plunger.”
Comprising 12 years’ worth of essays and interviews, Han’s second collection in English translation (following This Generation, 2012) charts China’s most popular troublemaker’s maturation into the country’s most revered (and sometimes reviled) “Stinking Public Intellectual.” Pair with Yu Hua’s China in Ten Words (2011) for sharper insight into modern China.
Published: 2016 (United States)