Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Playing with fate

By Mei Jia (China Daily)

15:26, March 12, 2013

Liu Zhenyun continues exploring a free flow writing style in his latest novel I'm Not Pan Jinlian. (China Daily/Jiang Dong)

Award-winning novelist takes a gamble with the story of a woman who fakes her divorce and rattles a political system with the repercussions, Mei Jia reports.

Author Liu Zhenyun says the publication of his latest novel, I'm Not Pan Jinlian, is probably the biggest risk he has ever taken. The Mao Dun Literature Prize-winner says the novel may be the first of its kind about the country's political system, and it's all about "how sesame turns into watermelon, and ants turn into elephants".

Liu creates a panorama of Chinese political structure through a humorous drama featuring an extraordinarily persistent rural woman, Li Xuelian.

Liu says he was not sure "if it's okay to write all those", by which he refers to scenes involving the top leaders and the woman's visits to high officials.

Publishers of both print and digital versions backed him up. The novel has so far attracted 3 million clicks on Sina's e-reading section.

In the story, Li fakes a divorce with her husband, who treats the divorce as real and then marries another woman. Li tries to sue the betrayed man but is rebuffed by the court. As the fight between Li and her husband accelerates, she gets a bad name from the husband, who labels her as Pan Jinlian, a character of the classic Outlaws of the Marsh who is known as an unfaithful wife.

Li persists in visiting officials at different levels to seek help. By accident, she meets one of the country's top leaders. The meeting ultimately changes the fate of all the officials she has visited before.

"There are no evil guys in the whole story. None of the officials are bad. And they even try to help Li," the author says.

"The problem is not the people involved, it's something to do with how power is constructed," Liu says.

Yet Liu insists his novel is not about politics.

【1】 【2】

We recommend:

Those Xiaorenshu we read in childhood

Trip planner: four-day trip to S China

Wonderful snapshots of flying buzzards

Forever Shangri-la: China's heaven on earth

Top 10 ever-victorious generals in history

Dreamy log cabins among woods

Top 10 best airports in China 2012

Mysterious Zhongnanhai in Beijing

Top 10 Chinese 'Kung Fu Kings' in Minguo period

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:DuMingming、Zhang Qian)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Navy's landing ship detachment in training

  2. Warships in 'Peace-13' joint military exercise

  3. Maduro as Venezuelan presidential candidate

  4. Flamboyant villagers honor sea goddess

  5. China's weekly story (2013.2.28-3.8)

  6. Applicants in flight attendants recruitment

  7. San Mao: The Echo Effect

  8. Sarah Brightman aims for the universe

  9. Pre-owned house sales soar

  10. Lu named Alibaba's new CEO

Most Popular


  1. Bigger does not always mean better for megacities
  2. Railway ministry revamp will not impact ratings
  3. Active yet prudent urbanization needed for China
  4. China's dating TV show inspires copycat in Chicago
  5. Int'l influence of Chinese films improving
  6. Peking Opera education should start early
  7. Fake 3D triggers resentment
  8. Technology transforms art sharing
  9. Books for youngsters' the fastest-growing genre
  10. Life of the never-touch-a-pan generation

What’s happening in China

Year's first rainfall for Beijing

  1. Fire accident in Lijiang, Yunan
  2. 80% of video games not suitable for minors
  3. Afforestation area increases to 6m hectares
  4. Pit collapse kills two
  5. Airport to boost Beijing's south area