Jia Pingwa's latest novel sells 1.5 million copies in 5 months
By selling nearly 1 million hard copies and 500,000 ebooks of his latest novel in just five months, Jia Pingwa reasserted his status in the top echelons of Chinese contemporary authors.
"Dai Deng" is the story of how a female university graduate became a local official in a northwest China town. There, the graduate names herself Dai Deng, which means "carrying a lamp," and works hard to settle disputes between local residents, though mostly in vain.
He knows that many critics and readers are skeptical about the importance of examining China's rural culture, which the country's rapid urban development is leaving in a precarious state. But Jia maintained that rural residents still account for half of China's 1.3 billion population and they deserve attention and respect from both authors and readers.
"Mega-cities like Beijing and Shanghai and numerous poor counties together form the reality of China. They are like two sides of a coin, and I choose to address the dark side," he said.