One book on the list:
BEIJING COMARead about another book on the Journal's list.
Since 2008 was the year of Beijing's Olympics -- its coming-out party -- here's another, even more dissident view of the city's reality.
Seven years in the making, this is bitter exile Ma Jian's magnum opus: a brilliant argument for the facts as only fiction can tell. A disembodied mind sifts through memories and ideals where individuality has been reduced to the ultimate form of powerlessness -- along the way, almost incidentally, offering the most insightful depiction of the 1989 Tiananmen Square revolt to come along thus far.
"Beijing Coma" is as telling in its tiniest details of grubby Chinese domesticity and callous family relations as it is sweeping in its metaphor of the country's promising democracy movement reduced, like the quasi-comatose narrator, to a paralyzed, vegetal state.