Caleb Liu's Reviews > Shanghai Baby

Shanghai Baby by Weihui Zhou
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Dec 21, 07

Read in November, 2001

Privileged Shanghai twenty-something nicknamed Coco (after Coco Chanel) loves her artist but impotent boyfriend but engages in torrid affair with married German expat businessman.

Wei Hui's attempts to contrast hedonism and the search for authenticity within the lens of the post Deng Xiaopeng China and such weightier themes (East vs West, capitalism vs imperialism) doesn't work.

This is more Cosmo that Keroac, more gossip column than Henry Miller. Notably only for its overblown sex scenes leading to a predictable ban on the novel by the Chinese government which was primarily responsible for its surge in popularity.
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Katie Mcsweeney Good and accurate review... but personally i would rather read Cosmo than Kerouac... and i don't like Cosmo :)

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