Milestones on a Golden Road

Writing for Chinese Socialism, 1945–80


Richard King

ISBN : 978-988-8083-93-0

Literary Studies

January 2014

296 pages, 6″ x 9″

For sale in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand only

  • HK$220.00

In Milestones on a Golden Road, Richard King discusses pivotal works of fiction published under China’s Communist regime between 1945 and 1980. King looks at how writers dealt with shifting ideological demands, what indigenous and imported traditions inspired them, and how they were able to depict a utopian Communist future to their readers, even as the present took a very different turn. Later authors produced works exposing the Mao era as an age of irrationality, arbitrary rule, and suffering—a Golden Road that has led to nowhere.

Richard King is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Victoria, teaching Chinese literature and film, Asian popular culture, research methods, and Chinese language.

Milestones on a Golden Road presents ‘red classics’ in fiction before, during, and after the Maoist socialist period—a newly emerging field of inquiry. King’s scholarship is excellent, and he makes good use of the primary and secondary materials, in English and Chinese. His accessible and lively book will be an important text for scholars and students of modern Chinese literature, history, and culture.” —Xiaomei Chen, author of Acting the Right Part: Political Theater and Popular Drama in Contemporary China

Milestones on a Golden Road could hardly be more timely or welcome. The core subject, the fiction of the early PRC, is important in its own right, but until recently it has been treated inadequately or ignored. King has created a robust framework for the consideration of eight major novels from four key periods in modern Chinese history. This significant contribution to modern literary criticism and history will stand as a classic in its field for years to come.” —Bonnie S. McDougall, author of Fictional Authors, Imaginary Audiences: Modern Chinese Literature in the Twentieth Century