Monday, November 4, 2013

"Better to Let Half of the People Die," said Mao?
Nearly two years ago, when I translated Yang Jisheng's response to Dikötter's strange comments on Tombstone, I said I was intensely interested to find out whether Mao really said "It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill," and if he did, in what context.  I received a couple of clues, but none provided the complete context, and I have been left wondering since. I even sent an email to Yang Jisheng asking if he knew about this Mao quote, but did not hear back – perhaps the email address I got from a journalist friend was no longer valid.

Amazingly, last week the answer came to me by accident, as I was reading a scholarly article written by Anthony Garnaut, a historian at Oxford, published in the journal China Information. 

In his article, "Hard facts and half-truths: The new archival history of China's Great Famine," Garnaut finds out that the Mao quote in question is not from a speech Mao delivered on March 25, 1959 as Dikötter claims, but it represents an impromptu response Mao made to Bo Yibo's report on the implementation of the industrial plan in the days that followed. "The comment is preceded by several remarks by Mao about Party oversight of the industrial sector, none of which touch upon agriculture or rural welfare." Mao was weighing in on how many projects should be undertaken to accomplish the plan set forth in Bo's report. Mao says:

If we want to fulfill the plan, then we need to greatly reduce the number of projects. We need to be resolute in further cutting the 1,078 major projects down to 500. (要完成计划,就要大減项目。1078个项目中还应該堅決地再多削減,削到500个。)

To distribute resources evenly is a way to sabotage the Great Leap Forward. (平均使用力量是破坏大跃进的办法。)

If all are unable to eat their fill, then all will die. It is better for half to die, so that half of the people can eat their fill. (大家吃不飽,大家死,不如死一半,給一半人吃飽。)

"The ‘people’ whom Mao was willing to let die of starvation turn out to be not people at all," Garnaut concludes, "but large-scale industrial projects."

I'm glad this fact is clarified, not because it mitigates Mao's guilt (it doesn't), but it supports the conclusion I reached in my LARB review of the two books by Yang and Dikötter respectively, that "the catastrophe was not a deliberate act of mass murder like the Holocaust, as Dikötter suggests. Rather, it was the result of policy failures from a governance system based on the control of ideology and information." This distinction is important if there are any lessons to be learned for today's leaders.

Another China scholar once wrote me – after reading my LARB review – that Mao's
monstrous moral failing was not in the motivation of starting the Great Leap Forward which turned out to be disastrous, but in his attitude toward criticism of his policies in the aftermath. I couldn't agree more with this assessment.

A question remains:  did Dikötter know what Mao meant but intentionally misinterpret it for wanting a smoking gun, or was his Chinese not good enough for him to know what he was doing?

By the way, Garnaut's article also analyzes Dikötter's repeated assaults on Yang Jisheng and his unacknowledged use of Yang's research results. I must say that, to date I still don't quite understand Dikötter's motivation in turning around on someone who had helped him generously with his research.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reviews of Unsavory Elements

I have gotten good feedback on compiling reviews for a book (example: "Reviews of Deng Xiaoping in Review").  So here is another one - today for Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China. Some of these reviews (as well as the comments they triggered) are surely interesting to read.

I also plan to write a review myself, and I can tell you beforehand that I honestly enjoyed reading most of the book. But since translation issues will be beyond the scope of my review, here I'd like to briefly discuss the translation of two Chinese phrases, which I happened to encounter in two of my favorite stories in the book. 

"思想汇报" -- in the book it's translated as "thinking reports,"  but "thought reports" might be more accurate, and read better.

"哪里哪里" -- as a modest response to praises, this is humorously translated as "Where? where?" in the book.  If you have read my posts on translation before, you would know I'm often in favor of literal translation, but here I agree with one of the book reviewers below that "Nah, nah" would be a better rendition. Note also that the question marks don't exist in the original Chinese phrase. As a bilingual reader I enjoyed and appreciate the writer's humor, but for English readers who don't know Chinese the confusion caused by  "Where? where?" might trump the humorous effect.

Now, here is my compilation of reviews as well as interviews with Tom Carter the editor, in reverse chronological order of their publication dates --

(Updated 11/5), Nov. 5, 2013

LA Review of Books, Sept. 25, 2013

The Peking Duck, Sept. 13, 2013

Caixin Online, Aug. 24, 2013

Asian Review of Books, Aug. 17, 2013

Business Insider, Aug. 2, 2013, July 22, 2013

That's,  June 17, 2013

Chengdu Living, June 1, 2013

The Beijing Cream, May 21, 2013

Beijing Bookworm: "A Q&A with Tom Carter," May 21, 2013

Time Out Shanghai, May 10, 2013

The Beijinger, May 9, 2013

Shanghaiist, May 8, 2013


Monday, April 15, 2013

The New American Mother

(A personal essay about my early days in America)

In pain, you know only your native language.

The fetal monitor beside me showed a running curve, no pause between contractions. I was screaming in Chinese, my American husband told me later, but the language of pain did not need translation: the midwife hurried over to offer a painkiller. I refused; I did not want to risk my baby to any drug, no matter how safe they said it was.

When the baby finally emerged, wet and squalling, the midwife encouraged my husband to cut her umbilical cord. He did it with shaking hands while, with one glance at the new life I had created, I fell into the deep sleep of exhaustion. Hours later I opened my eyes to find myself still on the delivery bed; Bob sat to the side watching me, and our tiny new baby cradled in his big arms. I wanted to see whom the baby looked like, her American father or Chinese mother, but her closed eyes and the little reddened face gave no clue. Only her rhythmic hiccups expounded the commonness among humans.

Early the next morning, a nurse came to my hospital bed asking if I had urinated. "I did a lot," I told her, trying to be complete, but my Southern Chinese tongue, which did not distinguish "l" from "n," twisted the sound of "lot" to "not." "You did, or you did not?" The nurse asked again, her face twisted in confusion. I repeated the answer. She repeated the question. Several repetitions later, the frustrated nurse left without a sure answer. I only hoped that information was not important.


Giving birth was not the only hard thing for me in the new land.

Bob and I were married in China, and I had come to America with him for only a few months. Shortly after my arrival, one afternoon a delivery truck brought to our door a new refrigerator Bob had just purchased. The driver, a big muscular man in a white T-shirt, demanded a $30 delivery fee. I wanted to tell him my husband had paid the fee at the store, besides I did not have the cash at hand. However I could not form a proper English sentence. I made repeated "Ah, ah" sounds, like a mute person trying to talk, and they infuriated the man. He shouted, flailing his arms, "You don't wanna pay? Heh? Heh?" I understood his Boston-accented English, but I could not make him understand me. I feared he was not trusting of my Chinese face. Our landlord, an American man at his fifties, ran downstairs and said, "Easy, easy. She's new here, she doesn't speak English. It’s only 30 bucks." He took out money from his own pocket and handed to the driver, who climbed up the truck with our landlord's money, and uttered some incomprehensible apologetic words.


Before our baby's birth, Bob persuaded me to attend an exercise class for expectant mothers. The first time the exercise instructor said "hold," I did not know what to do. I looked around to see what others did, but found no apparent movements. The instructor smiled at my puzzlement, "Like you were going to pee, but not," she explained. A slight laughter ensued from my classmates, all American women.

When I returned to the class for postpartum exercise, the secretary asked for my baby's picture and my comments on the experience of giving birth for the first time. The wall facing her desk was full of pictures of cute infants, all looked the same with closed-eyes, and their mothers' exhilarating notes. I told her, "It was painful." The smile disappeared from the middle-aged woman's face. After a moment she said, "Well, I'm not going to write that down."

A fellow mother beside me said, "You'll forget the pain, believe me. Then you'll want another baby!"


I went to Boston University's summer English school when my baby was three months old. I couldn't wait. I pumped my own milk (a very difficult and painful affair) each evening, and stored it in the new fridge. I nursed my baby in the morning, pushed her stroller with my pumped milk to the babysitter, and rode an hour on my bicycle from Belmont to BU. The bike ride was an idea of one arrow for two eagles: to save the subway fair and to lose the weight from my pregnancy. I bought the bike from a yard sale, and it cost only $15.

My class contained mostly young Japanese women, a decade younger than me perhaps. On the first day's introduction, I thought it funny that we had two Miki's. The second time I heard the name Miki, I chuckled, "Ah, Miki too!"

"My name is Miki! No Miki one, no Miki two!" the young woman yelled at me in an unexpected anger. "I said 'too,'" I tried to explain, "t-o-o," but it only made her angrier. What created me an unintended enemy the first day, my bad pronunciation, or the universality of lack-of-understanding, I was not sure.

Not a good start.


Katherine, the thirty-something teacher, chewed gum and gave us an assignment to make sentences from our new vocabulary. I was stuck at the word "ample." My baby did not take the pumped milk yesterday, the babysitter had told me. Should I quit the English school and stay home with her? Was she sick? I should check the color of her poop more carefully tonight.

I wrote: "A baby has ample poop."

Katherine read my sentence to the class and said it was wrong, but I did not understand why.

After class, the other Miki, the friendly one, asked me what "poop" meant. "The thing you do in bathroom," I told her. Her cheeks flushed, but she was persistent: "Which one? Big one or little one?"

The evening I asked my American husband what was wrong with my sentence. He laughed and laughed. "It's so cute! It's so cute!" He cooed to the baby, "Let's check your ample poop." He made me laugh too, but I suspected his love had handicapped his ability to teach me proper English. He enjoyed my Chinglish too much.


My baby cried the whole night and I did not finish my English homework. In the morning, during my hour-long bike ride to BU, it showered. I looked like a drenched chicken when I showed up at the classroom door and I was late. "Don't come in yet," Katherine frowned at me, then she turned to ask the other women students, "Who has extra clothes?"

The friendly Miki took me to her dorm in BU and made me change to her dry clothes. The shirt and the pants were a bit too short for me, but her generosity was not. We returned to the classroom twenty minutes later, and Katherine's expression softened.

Katherine paired off the students to check each other's homework, and she assigned the unfriendly Miki to me. I hesitated before saying, "I'm sorry, I did not get the time to do my homework." Miki wasted no time looking for more explanation. She shouted, in a victorious voice, to the teacher across the classroom, "She did not do the homework! She did not do the homework!" Katherine's face dropped. The entire class went quiet, and 12 pairs of eyes stared at me. I had not known this was such a big crime.

I told Katherine, and the class, about my crying baby, and my words sounded like a bad excuse. The quiet stares continued. None of the young students were married. I wasn't sure about Katherine's marital status, but I knew she was not a mother. The other day, during the lunch break, when I was looking for a store to buy a more effective milk pump, she had directed me to a bicycle shop.

Now she said, "Perhaps you should just stay home and be a good mother." Then she ordered me to leave.

I rode my bike home, crying all the way. I had always been a top student in China, from elementary to graduate school, and now I was kicked out of a class for a stupid piece of English homework.

The afternoon, Bob took off from work and drove to BU's administration office. The administrator responded to his protest by telling him that Katherine was an ambitious teacher, one of their best, and her aggressive approach was quite understandable.

I told Bob I was quitting the English school.


That weekend, in a Chinese friend's party, my baby sat on the floor playing with her rosy bear. She was four months old. Suddenly I heard a sound, a sound so clear, so melodious, like a pearl falling into a silver plate. It took me a moment to realize it was laughter, my baby's first laughter. I held her up, laughing too, turning around to meet Bob's equally amused eyes. The room was full of noises from the host and the guests, and no one else had noticed the most amazing, most rewarding sound in the world.

I rode my bike to BU again on Monday, my baby's first laughter following me all the way like sunshine. It made me realize that my English vocabulary would grow with her. One day—I promised myself—I would get revenge on Katherine with my first published story written in English.

(First published in MotherVerse, 2006)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Reading: Harper's on Bo Xilai

For much of 2012, the year of China's political earthquake, I waited to read Harper's analysis of the Bo Xilai saga, but never got the chance. As a long-time subscriber, I'm glad to see a report this year, even if it's a bit late.  In her informative article "The Unraveling of Bo Xilai – China loses a populist star," Lauren Hilgers provides balanced coverage of the divided public opinions on Bo, and convincingly shows how information unavailability helped to veil the fact that a Chinese politician who once appeared to be the most accessible "had been no more candid than any other Party secretary."  

I completely agree with Hilgers that officialdom opacity is a big problem in China and, as I've discussed before, different social classes have different level of access to information. But her article sparked more thoughts. Suppose all the social classes received the same amount of information about Bo Xilai, would their positions toward him converge?   I doubt it.

Chongqing, where Bo Xilai last ruled, is my hometown and I visit it often. There has been a heavy divide between the locals even when confronted with the same promulgated information.  Intellectuals I spoke to disliked Bo's behavior and policies long before his downfall; this is consistent with Hilgers' report.  Many low-income, less-educated people, on the other hand, continue to advocate Bo even after his dark side has been exposed and the initial stage of disbelief has passed. What's interesting – and also alarming – is the latter's reasoning. So what if Bo was corrupt? They say, Which official in China is not?  But the others are corrupt AND incompetent, while Bo was capable of getting something done. So what if Bo's "Chongqing model" was causing local government bankruptcy?  Certainly it is a lot better to spend the money on local construction than let it fall into the pockets of corrupt officials. And, so what if Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun carried out cruel torture, unjust executions, and massive imprisonments of private businessmen and political dissenters during their "anti-mafia" campaign?  Since ancient times, "killing the rich to benefit the poor" has been justified.

So, the most urgent and fundamental problem as seen by the two groups of people is different. To those with low-income, it is the wealth gap.  To liberal intellectuals, it is the rule of law. Both are legitimate concerns, and both should be addressed.  Bo, however, for his own self-serving agenda chose to play the game of favoring one and trampling the other. While it is clear that he placed himself above the law during his rule in Chongqing, there is no evidence that his populist policies (the so-called "Chongqing model") actually reduced the wealth gap; further, the face engineering that pleased his supporters is unsustainable, as it was implemented with heavy borrowing that has put Chongqing's finances into dire straits. In fact, what the current division in public opinion reflects is that the Bo incident has become an anchor from which both sides can vent their discontent.

Hilgers also touches on a very interesting phenomenon: "[T]here were two groups who disliked Bo Xilai: Party leaders and liberal intellectuals."  I wish the author had explored this coincidence a bit further. When groups we think of as critical of Chinese authority find themselves on the same side of some issue, this is worth analyzing and understanding. But I realize it is also beyond the scope of Hilgers’ article.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Foreign Literature in China: Now and Then

In LARB:  In the Wake of Finnegan: A Q & A with Xujun Eberlein
This week’s Q & A is with the China-born and now Boston-based Xujun Eberlein, a short story writer, blogger, essayist, and contributor to LARB.

I contacted Xujun in part simply because I was curious to learn her reaction to two recent literary-minded and China-focused New York Times pieces. One focused on the surprisingly brisk sales in China of a book by James Joyce, while the other was a commentary by NPR Beijing bureau chief Louisa Lim on trends in censorship and the popularity of Chinese “officialdom novels.” Both brought Xujun to mind, since she has often reflected on the flow of books and ideas between China and the West and she has written an essay on the “officialdom novel” genre.

She was good enough to break up her Lunar New Year trip back to Chongqing to speak with me.

Jeff Wasserstrom: Do you have any thoughts on why Finnegans Wake might be selling so well in China?

Xujun Eberlein: I was curious about this myself. I’m in Chongqing for Chinese New Year and I went to the Xinhua Bookstore downtown on Saturday (February 9) to have a look at the book. A young staff member led me to the desk where the Chinese translation of Finnegans Wake (the yellow cover at the center of the above photo) was on display with other new and noteworthy books. As you may see from the photo, next to Finnegans Wake is the translation of polish novelist Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis, which has a supplementary band to note the author is a Nobel Laureate. The red cover on the right is a Chinese popular novel titled Love SMSs. I asked the young man how Finnegans Wake was selling there and he said “Not bad.” He noted that its sales were similar to One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. When asked what kind of readers were buying it, he said “mostly young people.”

Read more.

Friday, February 22, 2013

"Skylark": a Translated Story

Cover Image(Note:  This is a short story I translated for Pathlight issue No. 1, 2012, posted here with permission. I had not heard about author Jin Renshun before I got the assignment. Her writing is both beautiful and subtle, and I truly enjoyed translating the piece. I tried to be faithful to her original style and hope I've succeeded somewhat. – Xujun)

Jin Renshun:   Born in 1970 of Korean extraction, and now living in Changchun, Jin Renshun has published the novel Spring Fragrance, the short story collections Cold Front of Love, Moonlight Oh Moonlight, One Another, and The Glass Café, and the essay collections Like a Dream in Broad Daylight and Poisonous Beauties. Her work has been translated into Japanese, English. German and Korean. In 2010 she attended the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program.


Each day at dusk, from six to eight, the third table by the window was reserved for Kang Joon-Hyuk. Occasionally he brought friends – perhaps employees – with him, but mostly he came alone, magazine in hand, to read a few pages before the dishes were served. He and Chun Feng spoke every day, but nothing beyond her asking what he’d like and his ordering of dishes, followed by a few pleasantries of the “Thanks,” “You are welcome” sort.

One day Chun Feng forgot to put the “Reserved” sign on the table. By the time she realized her mistake, the table was occupied by two middle-aged women who chatted nonstop from the second they walked in. They ignored Chun Feng’s apologies and requests.

“This is where we’re sitting,” they said. “We’re not going anywhere.”

While another waitress handled their order, Chun Feng went outside to wait for Kang Joon-Hyuk.

“I’m really sorry,” she bowed to him, tears spilling forth. “It’s all my fault.”

“Did I cause you any trouble?” he said. “You stood in the wind for so long, for such a little thing! It’s me who should apologize.”

(Read the complete story here)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Last "Red Guard"?

In my previous post, I distinguished two generations of Red Guards.  The first generation,  a disarray of factions who engaged in a great deal of violence from the summer of 1966 to 1968, were disbanded by the end of 1968 after the "Down to the Countryside" movement began on a large scale. This fact is pretty much clear.  The nuance I was trying to spell out is about the second generation, which came into being when middle schools resumed classes in the fall of 1969 after a three-year hiatus.  This time, the name "Red Guard" was borrowed by authorities for the official student organizations that, at first, served as a temporary substitute of the Communist Youth League which remained dormant then.

Apparently, what requires further clarification is exactly when the second generation "Red Guard" organizations began to disappear and when they eventually ceased to exist nationwide. From my memory, after I entered high school in the fall of 1971, the Communist Youth League revived, and we had no more "Red Guard" activities.  Last week in Chongqing, I asked a few old schoolmates, and they remembered it the same as I did.

However, the evening before I left Chongqing, I had dinner with some friends, and a couple of younger men told me that they had entered middle school and become "Red Guards" in 1975 (at the time, I was in the countryside receiving "reeducation" as a "zhi-qing").  I was surprised and subsequently searched I found two pieces of information that I wasn't previously aware of (or had forgotten about):

  • In 1975, Wang Hongwen (a member of the "Gang of Four") had proposed merging the Youth League and "Red Guard" organizations in secondary schools, though the merger was never realized.
  • The Communist Party and Youth League formally revoked "Red Guard" organizations on August 19, 1978.
So, theoretically, the second generation "Red Guards" could have existed through August 1978.  On the other hand, I have found no citations suggesting their activities lasted beyond 1976, the year the Cultural Revolution ended.

In my discussion with the younger friends in Chongqing early this week, they believed that, by 1975, the "Red Guard" organizations were no longer mandatory for all schools. Thus, different schools might have done things differently, and differences might also have existed between high schools and middle schools.  This again reminds me the danger of generalization from one's own experience, something I try to be vigilant for but still sometimes let down my guard. Also, while I do not remember any Red Guard activities when I was in high school, it is possible that my memory serves me wrong.

As such I would like to invite my Chinese readers to help the fact-checking process:  if you were a secondary school student in China between 1971 and 1978, could you please let me know when was the last time you were aware of "Red Guard" activities in your school?  If you don't like to leave comments, you can email me.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fact Checking on Fu Ping's Controversial "Red Guard" Photo

(posted from Chongqing via a proxy)

First, full disclosure:  I have not read Fu Ping's memoir, Bend, Not Break. The book, advertised as a "rags to riches" story, is not the kind that interests me, thus was not on my reading list. I had glanced at a few criticisms online in January, but did not read them carefully because I was busy writing.  In early February, before I left Boston, a friend got very angry at Fu after reading some articles about her book from a US-based Chinese website, and talked to me about it. She urged me to read those articles, but I did not get the time.  After I arrived in Chongqing to spend the Spring Festival with my parents, another cyber friend wrote and invited me to add an independent voice to the discussion.  But my father, who's 87, was hospitalized on Chinese New Year's eve, and caring for him took priority.

As my father's condition was improving, I checked out a few articles two days ago.   Among them, I found a Guardian report informative and balanced.  Sounds like Fu will have quite a number of things to explain to her readers.

To be fair, however,  I have to say Fu was not wrong in the following quote:
A photograph supplied to media by Fu shows her posing with a little red book, Mao badge and armband. Michel Bonnin of Tsinghua University and Prof Yin Hongbiao of Beijing University said it showed she was not disgraced as a "black element" at the time, as she claimed; Fu said it was common for children to be pictured pledging allegiance to Mao, "whether 'black' or 'red'".
As a child of "Capitalist Roader" parents, I wore a Mao badge and held the "little red book" during the Cultural Revolution. Every kid I knew did that, regardless of their family background.

In another photo that caused outrage, Fu and other students wear armbands before a Red Guard flag. I don't know when that photo was taken, but if Fu was born in 1958, she could only be 8 to 10 from 1966 to 1968, when the violent Red Guard movement was ongoing, and she herself would be too young to be one of them. If the photo was taken after she entered middle school, then it would be no earlier than 1969, which was the year middle schools resumed classes. By that time, the Red Guard factions involved in the early years of the CR no longer existed, and their members either had gone to the countryside, were in factories or had joined the army. 

After middle schools reopened in 1969, however, another kind of "Red Guard" came into being, this time organized by school authorities. Because the Communist Youth League was still paralyzed at the time, the authorities needed another official student organization as a substitute, so the name "Red Guard" was borrowed. But this "Red Guard" is not that Red Guard; the two generations were completely different in nature despite the common name. I was one of those who entered middle school in 1969; almost all kids in my class were members of the new generation, official "Red Guard" organization, except one or two mischievous boys. I don't know about other schools, but we didn't have armbands.

After high schools reopened in the fall of 1971, the Communist Youth League resumed activities and the official "Red Guard" organization began to exit the stages of history. It is unclear when the aforementioned photo was taken.  I checked with a friend who has a digital copy of Fu's book and learned that the photo is undated. If it was taken in the late 1970s, then the armbands and the flag in it could have been some sort of props for performances.

So the question is: when was the photo taken?

I have a few more things to discuss but I'm running out of time right now. If you can read Chinese, please check out my post on Sina blog.

(Updated on 2/19)

Friday, January 25, 2013

The 2012 Awards for the Top 10 Books in China

The annual awards competition for the 10 best books published in China was launched in 2005. It is co-sponsored by Hong Kong Phoenix TV's book channel and Beijing's Publishers magazine. The 2012 results, divided into five categories, are translated below.  Notably, the list includes 4 foreign books (links provided) translated into Chinese, two of them I'm familiar with. It provides a glance into what kind of foreign books are catching the attention of Chinese readers.

I'm reading some of these books written by Chinese authors, and plan to follow up with reviews. Brief summaries are provided for the Chinese titles that are not self-explanatory.

Literature and Fiction  (3):

1. Where Is Home: Old Town, Old Friends, Old Stories, essay collection by Ye Fu
Tragic and romantic stories of the author's relatives and friends, which also reflect China's transition through recent decades

2.  At The End of the Big River, novel by Li Yongping
The physical and spiritual journey of a 15-year-old Malaysian Chinese boy tracking the headwaters of Kapuas River

3.  Love in the Time of Cholera, novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (2007), Chinese translation by Yang Ling  

Culture and History (3 ): 

4.      River Town by Peter Hessler (2001), Chinese translation by Li Xueshun 

5.      Rewinding the "Red Wheel":  Russian Intellectuals' Spiritual Journey by Jin Yan 

6.      Revolution by Yang Kuisong
Four volumes of research on the less known history of China's Communist revolution in the first half of the 20th century, especially the relationship between Mao Zedong and Moscow 

Scholarship and Philosophy (2):  

7.      You Can Never Wake Up One Who Pretends to be Asleep by Zhou Lian
 A collection of commentaries on happiness, justice, virtue, democracy, freedom, and morality 

8.      The Spectre of Comparisons:Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World  by Benedict Anderson (1998), Chinese translation by Gan Huibing 

Life and Arts (1): 

9.      Rip It Up: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life by Richard Wiseman (2012) , Chinese translation by Li Lei 

Finance and Management (1): 

10.  Stories of Wang Er's Economics by Ge Kai
Economic theory explained through the stories of a fictional character