Shanghai Baby by Wei Hui

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The gap that divides those of us born in the 1970s and the older generation has never been so wide.
Dark and edgy, deliciously naughty, an intoxicating cocktail of sex and the search for love, Shanghai Baby has already risen to cult status in mainland China. The risque contents of the breakthrough novel by hip new author Wei Hui have so alarmed Beijing authorities that thousands of copies have been confiscated and burned. As explicit as Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, as shocking as Trainspotting, this story of a beautiful writer and her erotically charged affairs jumps, howls, and hits the ground running as it depicts the new generation rising in the East.
Set in the centuries-old port city of Shanghai, the novel follows the days, and nights, of the irrepressibly carnal Coco, who waits tables in a café when she meets her first lover, a sensitive Chinese artist. Defying her parents, Coco moves in with her boyfriend and enters a frenzied, orgasmic world of drugs and hedonism. But, helpless to stop her gentle lover's descent into addiction, Coco becomes attracted to a boisterous Westerner, a rich German businessman with a penchant for S/M and seduction. Now, with an entourage of friends ranging from a streetwise madame to a rebellious filmmaker, Coco's forays into in the territory of love and lust cross the borders between two cultures -- awakening her guilt and fears of discovery, yet stimulating her emerging sexual self. Searing a blistering image into the reader's imagination, Shanghai Baby provides an alternative travelogue into the back streets of a city and the hard-core escapades of today's liberated youth. Wei Hui's provocative portrayal of men, women, and cultural transition is an astonishing and brave exposure of the unacknowledged new China, breaking through official rhetoric to show the inroads of the West and a people determined to burst free.

About Wei Hui

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Wei Hui, daughter of a Chinese army officer, studied literature at Shanghai's prestigious Fudan University. She is the author of The Shriek of the Butterfly, Virgin in the Water, Crazy Like Wei Hui, and Desire Pistol. Shanghai Baby is her first full-length novel, as well as her first writing to be published in English. She lives in Shanghai.
Published February 2, 2002 by Atria Books. 272 pages
Genres: Erotica, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Since she can’t write a breakthrough opus with “profound intellectual content and a bestselling, sexy cover”—and thus has nothing to write about—she falls in love with Tian Tian, a coffeeshop drug addict who lives off his distant mother, and soon thereafter with Mark, a married investment counsel...

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Publishers Weekly

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Although it caused an uproar in the author's native China, Western readers will find 27-year-old Wei Hui's semiautobiographical offering reminiscent of fiction by the brat pack writers of t

Aug 27 2001 | Read Full Review of Shanghai Baby

The New York Times

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''It's become my ambition, almost my raison d'etre, to burst upon the city like fireworks.'' Banned and burned in the author's native China, Wei Hui's book tells of Coco's relationships with two men -- Tian Tian, who is tenderhearted, impotent and drug-addicted, and Mark, a married German busines...

Sep 23 2001 | Read Full Review of Shanghai Baby

Publishers Weekly

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Coco's deceptions, Tian Tian's problems with his wealthy mother (who he suspects killed his father) and the intertwining worlds of art and fashion are all fodder for Coco's upcoming slice-of-lifestyle novel, in which Shanghai's privileged 20-somethings are shown in their natural habitat of clubs ...

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Book Reporter

The love between Coco and Tien Tien is sensual and.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Shanghai Baby

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Pank Magazine

the novel that Coco is writing is the novel that Wei Hui is writing, which is the novel that you, the reader, are currently reading.

Mar 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Shanghai Baby

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