An author who wrote a book on China’s one-child policy was having some serious difficult finding a Chinese language publisher for her book in China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, so she decided to make it available for free online instead
You can pick up a Chinese language copy of “One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment” by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Mei Fong here. She is asking that readers support the translation by donating a bit to her Patreon page.
The work is an in depth look at the history, failings and consequences of China’s one-child policy, which was abolished last year in favor of a two-child policy, but not before contributing greatly to China’s gender gap, along with some of its most infamous human rights abuses such as forced abortions and sterilizations.
“At present, everything comes out of my own pockets,” Fong told Quartz. “I tried to get the book published in China, since that is the audience most affected by the topic I write about, but I was turned down. I did not think it was that sensitive anymore, since they amended the policy, yet obviously it still is, so nobody would publish the translation. We tried through Hong Kong, but the situation there has gotten so hard that I did not find a publisher either. Taiwan is a different issue, as it remains quite difficult to get publishers interested in books about China there.”
Considering its critical content, it’s not surprising that Fong had difficulty finding a publisher. Currently, the publishing industry in Hong Kong is more than a little skittish following this year’s mystery of the missing booksellers. Almost a year later, four out of the five Hong Kong booksellers still remain in the mainland.
“We were interested in the book, but could not even cover costs. Recently custom officials at the border between Hong Kong and China have started confiscating books in great numbers, which means people who used to come here to buy books do not do so anymore,” an anonymous publisher told Quartz.
Fong herself concealed her intentions to offer the book free online until the last minute. She said she is worried that at any moment, it will be blocked by the Great Firewall.
“If they do not like it, eventually they will block it, so I hope to reach as many readers as possible before that,” she said.
Of course, if you can’t read Chinese, then you can simply buy the book in English. Also, you can check out this talk that Fong gave at the USC U.S.-China Institute.
[Images & Video via USC U.S.-China Institute]
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