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  • Published: 26 March 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141919201
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 544

Wolf Totem




The million-copy Chinese bestseller and winner of the 2007 Man Asian Literary Prize

Beijing intellectual Chen Zhen volunteers to live in a remote settlement on the border of Inner and Outer Mongolia, where he discovers life of apparent idyllic simplicity amongst the nomads and the wild wolves who roam the plains. But when members of the People's Republic swarm in from the cities to bring modernity and productivity to the grasslands, the peace of Chen's solitary existence is shattered, and the delicate balance between humans and wolves is disrupted. Only time will tell whether the grasslands' environment and culture will ever recover...

Wolf Totem has been a sensation ever since it shot to the top of the Chinese bestseller charts in 2004. A beautiful and moving portrayal of a land and culture that no longer exists, it is also a powerful portrait of modern China and a fascinating insight into the country's own view of itself, its history and its people.

  • Published: 26 March 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141919201
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 544

About the author

Jiang Rong

Jiang Rong was born in Jiangsu in 1946.His father's job saw the family move to Beijing in 1957, and Jiang entered the Central Academy of Fine Art in 1966.

His education cut short by events in China, the twenty-one-year-old Jiang volunteered to work in Inner Mongolia's East Ujimchin Banner in 1967,where he lived and labored with the native nomads until the age of thirty-three. He took with him two cases filled with Chinese transla­tions of Western literary classics, and spent eleven years immersed in personal studies of Mongolian history, culture, and tradition. In par­ticular, he developed a fascination for the mythologies surrounding the wolves of the grasslands, spending much of his leisure time learning the stories and raising an orphaned wolf cub.

In 1978 he returned to Beijing, continuing his education at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences one year later. Jiang worked as an academic until his retirement in 2006.

Wolf Totem is a fictional account of life in the 1970s that draws on Jiang's personal experience of the grasslands of China's border region.

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