Scratching the Head of Chairman Mao
Jonathan TelMoney makes Beijing go round in Jonathan Tel’s seductive, puzzle-like novel-in-stories.
China is the center of the world, and the center of China is Beijing, and at the center of Beijing is a billionaire financier named Qin. At the opening of this novel-in-stories, billionaire Qin is lying in state at his funeral, victim of a sudden and premature death. Moving back and forth in time, we meet a wide range of Chinese, all linked to Qin by a degree or two of separation: a property developer, a street artist, a prostitute, a fashion model, a spy, a thief, an expat lawyer, a muckraking journalist. By the end of this biting, post-post-modern cultural observation, the manner of Qin’s death is revealed. Scratching the Head of Chairman Mao presents today’s China in its full and fabulous complexity.
"A tour de force of deep knowledge, uncanny powers of observation, and brilliant tragicomic invention." ––James Lasdun