I was listening to BBC worldservice this morning, and apparently a book called Wolf Totem （朗图腾） by Jiang Rong is going to be published in English. I’m not sure why this news is hitting now, as the book was set for English publication back in 2005, unless it’s the news that the translation is close to release (though that news was reported back in September). The release is set for possibly next March, through Penguin Group. Apparently the translation was done by Howard Goldblatt, and the book is in the editing process. The Italian release of the book has been doing well there, so there is good prospects for the English release.
This book topped China’s bestselling list for 16 months. What makes this more interesting to me is that the book is calling for better harmony with the environment and also portrays life in Inner Mongolia in the 1960s and 1970s. Apparently the book is calling for a deeper spiritual connection with the world, and points to things we can learn from nomadic culture.
I, for one, am highly interested, and I am a bit surprised at the book’s popularity in China. The author won the Man Asian Literary Prize for the book, so the recognition goes beyond best sales lists. The planned international publication makes this the first book I’ve looked forward to that isn’t either banned or about something racy.