Rare Earth – novel set in China by Paul Mason (BBC)

By Helen Wang, published

Paul Mason is BBC Newsnight Economics editor. His first novel Rare Earth is set in northwest China:

"All of this is imagined, of course. 'I wrote Rare Earth,' Mason says, 'because I got tired of trying to tell the China story as fact – with so much of the political reality hidden from view, it would be easier to tell it as fiction.'"

Read Julia Lovell’s review of Rare Earth in The Guardian

What are Paul Mason’s top 10 books about China?
1. The Real Story of Ah Q by Lu Xun (tr. by Julia Lovell)
2. Big Breasts and Wide Hips by Mo Yan
3. Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian
4. The Plum in the Golden Vase (tr. by David Tod Roy)
5. Wang in Love and Bondage by Xiaobo Wang
6. The Penguin History of Modern China by Jonathan Fenby
7. Tiananmen Moon: Inside the Chinese Student Uprising of 1989 by Philip Cunningham
8. Chinese Whispers: The True Story Behind Britain’s Hidden Army of Labour by Hsiao-Hung Pai
9. Chinese Reportage: The Aesthetics of Historical Experience by Charles A. Laughlin
10. Sisters and Strangers: Women in the Shanghai Cotton Mills, 1919-1949 by Emily Honig


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