Latest Issue

Book review: The Matchmaker, the Apprentice and the Football Fan by Zhu Wen

By Prospect Team   January 2014

There are certain kinds of China stories one encounters every day in the news media: economic stories, reform stories, corruption stories, censorship stories. These rarely seem to contain recognisable human beings. Zhu Wen’s new short story collection trades in the comic and grotesque, but it will appeal to readers looking for a more vivid, more human picture of modern China. The stories are narrated by mediocre men, mostly second rate engineering graduates, who are pushed around by their bosses, colleagues or wives. A number of the protagonists were students…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect