Jim's Reviews > Rickshaw: The Novel Lo-t'o Hsiang Tzu

Rickshaw by Lao She
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's review
Dec 18, 08

bookshelves: required-reading, reviewed
Read in May, 2005

The Grapes of Wrath set in Beijing, but without the stratospheric commentary from Steinbeck's godlike narrator. Rickshaw is, as the forward points out, the social realist work the Socialists of the 1930s wanted to write but never did. It's a stark and muscular read as well as a great introduction to Chinese culture and literature of the Republic between the two world wars. (If I were to teach economics, I'd have my class read this and Mildred Pierce as clearheaded rebuttals to the dismal science.) Be sure to pick up this translation and not the earlier one which changes the ending to something more palatable for us running dog capitalists.
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