> Skip to content
  • Published: 1 November 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473557741
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

China Dream




A biting satire of Chinese totalitarianism from the critically acclaimed author of Beijing Coma and Red Dust.

'One of China's greatest living novelists' Guardian

Blending fact with fiction, China Dream is an unflinching satire of totalitarianism. After decades of loyal service, Ma Daode, a corrupt and lecherous party official, has been appointed director of the China Dream Bureau, charged with promoting President Xi Jinping's China Dream of national rejuvenation. But just as he is about to present his plan for a microchip that will be implanted into the brain of every citizen to replace all painful recollections with a collective dream of national supremacy, his sanity begins to unravel. Plagued by flashbacks of the Cultural Revolution, his nightmare visions from the past threaten to destroy his dream of a glorious future.

This darkly comic fable is a dystopian vision of repression and state-enforced amnesia set not in the future, but in China today.

'Excoriating.Not for nothing has Ma been called both the Orwell and Solzhenitsyn of Chinese literature' A Financial Times Book of the Year

'Red Guards meet Kurt Vonnegot, sort of: powerful!'
Margaret Atwood, via Twitter

  • Published: 1 November 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473557741
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

About the author

Ma Jian

Ma Jian was born in Qingdao, China. He is the author of seven novels, a travel memoir, three story collections and two essay collections. He has been translated into twenty-six languages. Since the publication of his first book in 1987, all his work has been banned in China. He now lives in exile in London

Also by Ma Jian

See all

Praise for China Dream

A master of inimitable humour. Always hilarious, thought-provoking, and immensely moving

Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans

A biting and humane novel of stunning concision... Bleakly funny, incisive, stinging and – in its most destabilising passages – gut-wrenching

Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Guardian

A savage satire of Chinese authoritarianism and censorship... Believable and brutal, this is Ma Jian’s boldest…most elegiac work

Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

Mr Ma's critique of the totalitarian mindset recalls that of Soviet-era dissidents...tragic and elegiac...garnished with both horror and tenderness... A hand-grenade of a book

The Economist

This must be one of the liveliest novels about brainwashing ever written… For all the horror, Ma sees freedom in confronting the true nightmare of the past, perceiving that it is the only way to liberate our futures

Alex Peake-Tomkinson, Spectator

Creepily Orwellian... makes Mao’s Cultural Revolution look like minor tinkering

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

Crackles with bruising satireChina Dream may be the purest distillation yet of Mr. Ma’s talent for probing the country’s darkest corners

Mike Ives, New York Times

Related titles