I am writing this entry with fear and joy in my heart. Fear since I have been made aware that my novel The Flute Player from Urumqi has been reportedly deemed "subversive" by officials in China. I advise my readers there to consider discarding their copies after reading. Yes! Read the book and remember what it says about China and how the future might unfold. If you are in Hong Kong, the possession is not yet illegal but will be if the government is able to get the security bill passed. In such case having my novel in your possession could result in punishment.
WHAT IS THERE TO BE JOYFUL ABOUT?
The fact that my story touches the sensitivities of Communists officials means I did my research well. In the story the was free minded people can be punished is shown. This book was published before the massive concentration camp system in Xinjiang was known to the world. Now we see how the Uyghur people are taken away and out in prison for the crime of being non-Chinese and being Muslim. Yes, I am happy that my humble book has gotten the attention of the authorities. But this should not be too surprising. I was turned away bye publishers who cited pressure or fear of Chinese investors in their publishing operations. Other simply felt it did not depict China as many know it: a modern country where people where cute shoes and eat with chopsticks. I have been vindicated.
If you have a copy of my novel and are travelling to Chinese controlled areas (Mainland China, Macao and Hong Kong) be aware that it will likely land you in trouble. Thank you for reading it but consider burning it or sending it to a friend in a place where there is freedom of speech and where literature is for free expression of ideas-this is not the case in China!
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