When Handong, a ruthless and wealthy businessman, is introduced to Lan Yu, a naive, working-class architectural student--the attraction is all consuming.
Arrogant and privileged, Handong is unsettled by this desire, while Lan Yu quietly submits. Despite divergent lives, the two men spend their nights together, establishing a deep connection. When loyalties are tested, Handong is left questioning his secrets, his choices, and his very identity.
Beijing Comrades is the story of a tumultuous love affair set against the sociopolitical unrest of late-eighties China. Due to its depiction of gay sexuality and its critique of the totalitarian government, it was originally published anonymously on an underground gay website within mainland China. This riveting and heartbreaking novel, circulated throughout China in 1998, quickly developed a cult following, and remains a central work of queer literature from the People's Republic of China. This is the first English-language translation of Beijing Comrades.
About the Author
Bei-Tong is the anonymous author of Beijing Comrades. The pseudonymous author, whose real-world identity has been a subject of debate since the story was first published on a gay Chinese website over a decade ago, is known variously as Beijing Comrade, Beijing Tongzhi, Xiao He, and Miss Wang. Scott E. Myers is a translator of Chinese who focuses on contemporary queer fiction from the PRC. He holds a BA in philosophy from Hampshire College and master's degrees in Comparative Literature from New York University, in Chinese Translation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. A former union organizer with experience in China's workers' rights movement, his translation of the diary of a retail worker in China appears in the book Walmart in China (ILR Press/Cornell University Press, 2011). Recently, he has been translating the work of avant-garde poet and novelist Mu Cao. His translations of Mu's poems have appeared in Epiphany journal (Winter 2014), and he is currently translating Mu's 2003 novel Outcast. Originally from California, he is a Mandarin teacher at a high school in Denver, Colorado.