The Subplot: What China is Reading and Why it Matters is a very interesting introduction to contemporary Chinese literature; if you are interested in the nuances of the Chinese literary scene, want to learn about various trends, movements and directions, or note down author names to investigate, this is a choice for you.
Chinese literature can be overwhelming, especially for those who are only shily picking up their first Chinese books – where to start? Which texts should be taken literally and which are a veiled attempt to fight censorship? Do young Chinese read only politically engaged and party-approved texts? Are the writers who have found recognition in the West also celebrities in their native China? The Subplot… tries to answer these and many other questions.
The book is part of Columbia Global Reports series, which explores specific topics in a condensed way. It is worth visiting the series website and listening to the three-part podcast Underreported, which will help supplement and organize your knowledge.