Devious plots, seduction, and bribery are all on the table in a no-holds-barred scramble for political prestige and personal gain…
A northeastern city in Dongzhou province needs a new Mayor, and there are plenty of candidates eager for the top job. As the mandarins of the local Communist Party go through the motions of selecting their nominee, insinuation and subterfuge run rampant. Dangerous factions begin to form around two contenders and longstanding rivals, Vice-Mayors Liu Yihe and Peng Guoliang.
But, when the personal notebook of a high-up official is exposed to the powers that be – the government’s own internal enforcement brigade – its humble pages initiate an office wide manhunt for the anonymous notebook sender, casting a suspicious eye over everyone from lowly department researchers to Vice-Mayors, initiating an investigation that threatens to swallow everyone into the eye of a political storm the likes of which has never before been seen in Dongzhou. Not even the most practiced of civil servants can predict just who will outmaneuver the consequences, and who, if anyone, will remain unscathed.
In the spirit of Andrej Kurkov comes a satirical absurdist blend which blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction in China’s halls of power. Penned by a former insider, The Civil Servant’s Notebook offers a glimpse into the distorted psyches of those who roam the guarded halls. Told through multiple narrators, Wang Xiaofang crafts a unique and multifaceted tale of official corruption where civil servants prioritize personal over public welfare and ‘serve the people’ is just about the last thing on their minds.
Wang Xiaofang was born in 1963 in Shenyang, northeast China, and was private secretary to Shenyang Deputy Mayor Ma Xiangdong from 1997-1999. Ma achieved infamy for gambling and losing millions in public money in Macau’s casinos, and was later sentenced to death for his crimes. Wang Xiaofang was found innocent of any involvement and left the service in 1999 to begin a career as political fiction writer. He has published thirteen novels of political fiction in China, and his works regularly top the bestseller charts. This is the first of his books to be published in English.
The Civil Servant’s Notebook By Wang Xiaofang
Translated by Eric Abrahamsen
Penguin Paperback, ISBN 9780670080939
Available in October 2012
For further information or to request a copy for review please contact Abi Howell by email: email@example.com