Tuesday, April 26, 2011

All foreign books to be banned in China? - Bill Dodson

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Bill Dodson
Celebrity author Bill Dodson just discovered by accident that his succesful book China Inside Out has been taken off the shelves of a book store in Suzhou. It might be the start of more, he reports at his weblog. In the end all foreign books might be banned in China.
China Inside Out apparently caught the attention of the Fahrenheit 451 brigade in Suzhou. I’d gone down to the local branch of the Bookworm this past Sunday to kick-off a Royal Asiatic Society author’s talk on Edmund Backhouse’s Decadence Mandchoue, as bawdy an historical narrative as one will ever find. A friend at the shop told me my book had caused a bit of a stir a few days before with the local F451. I thought he was kidding.
The proprietor confirmed after the Decadence talk that, indeed, F451 had been to the shop, saw the nice little display for the book set up at the front bar; and politely asked that the book be removed. In all fairness, it’s not the first time the shop has been targeted. And it won’t be the last time, either. Apparently, F451 will shortly be requiring ALL books written by foreigners be taken down from the shelves.
Regime change has central and local authorities more brittle than at any time in twenty years.
The country just can’t seem to break out of some cycles.
Bill Dodson is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him (and his books) at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch.
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