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Harper Collins To Publish Chinese Author Fang Fang’s Wuhan Lockdown Diary

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From one of China’s most acclaimed and decorated writers comes a powerful first-person account of life in Wuhan during the COVID-19

HarperNonFiction will publish Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by well-known Chinese literary writer Fang Fang. 

The ebook will be published on 15th May with the audio to follow on 26th May. 

HarperNonFiction acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, the translator is Michael Berry. The book is a compilation of the author’s diary entries and social media posts that document 60 days of lockdown during the COVID-19 epidemic.

On January 25, 2020, after the central government imposed a lockdown in Wuhan, Fang Fang began publishing an online diary. 

In the days and weeks that followed, Fang Fang’s nightly postings gave voice to the fears, frustrations, anger, and hope of millions of her fellow citizens.

They reflectef on the psychological impact of forced isolation, the role of the internet as both community lifeline and source of misinformation, and most tragically, the lives of neighbours and friends taken by the deadly virus.

A fascinating eyewitness account of events as they unfolded, Wuhan Diary captures the challenges of daily life and the changing moods and emotions of being quarantined without reliable information. 

Fang Fang finds solace in small domestic comforts, and is inspired by the courage of friends, health professionals, and volunteers, as well as the resilience and perseverance of Wuhan’s nine million residents. But, by claiming the writer´s duty to record, she also speaks out against social injustice, abuse of power, and other problems that impeded the response to the epidemic and gets herself embroiled in online controversies because of it.

As Fang Fang documents the beginning of the global health crisis in real time, we are able to identify patterns and mistakes that many of the countries dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic have later repeated. She reminds us that, in the face of the new virus, the plight of the citizens of Wuhan is also that of citizens everywhere. 

As Fang Fang concludes in her introduction: “The virus is the common enemy of humankind; that is a lesson for all humanity. The only way we can conquer this virus and free ourselves from its grip is for all members of humankind to work together.”

Blending the intimate and the epic, the profound and the quotidian, Wuhan Diary is a remarkable record of an extraordinary time.

Fang writes in the introduction: “This is a book dedicated to the people of Wuhan. It is also a book for those people who came to Wuhan’s aid during this city’s darkest hour. All of my proceeds from this book will be used to aid those people who put their lives on the line for this city.”

Wuhan Diary is to be translated into 15 languages.


( Anwesha Bhaumik looks after book reviews  at Easternlink)

About the Author

One of contemporary China’s most celebrated writers, Fang Fang was born into an intellectual family in Nanjing in 1955, and spent most of her childhood in Wuhan, where she witnessed many of the political movements of Mao’s China, from the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution. She

graduated from Wuhan University with a degree in Chinese literature, and her novels, novellas, short stories, and essays have appeared in nearly 100 different editions. She has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the Lu Xun Literary Prize, and the Chinese Literature and Communications Prize for Outstanding Writer.


About the Translator

Michael Berry is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies and Director of the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA. He is the author of several books on Chinese film and culture, including Speaking in Images and A History of Pain. He has served as a film consultant and a juror for numerous film festivals, including the Golden Horse (Taiwan) and the Fresh Wave (Hong Kong). He is also the translator of several novels, including To Live, The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, and Remains of Life.

About HarperCollins India

HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2000 titles across 10 imprints. HarperCollins India authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, the DSC Prize, the New India Foundation Award, the Atta Galatta Prize, the Shakti Bhatt Prize, the Publishing Next Award, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India is also the only publisher to have been awarded the Publisher of the Year Award three times: at Publishing Next in 2015, and at Tata Literature Live! in 2016 and 2018.

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