Staff Picks

Introducing Staff Picks

Our miscellaneous recommendations – a new occasional feature

Linda Jaivin’s The Monkey and the Dragon: A True Story About Friendship, Music, Politics and Life on the Edge (Text Publishing, September 2000), which straddles the line between memoir and biography, is by an author who is nothing if not versatile: Jaivin translates Chinese literature, pens commentaries on cultural issues, and writes novels with titles like Rock n Roll Babes from Outer Space. The book focuses on Hou Dejian, a folk singer who moved from Taiwan to the mainland in the 1980s and later became, as Jaivin puts it, the first straits-crossing gadfly figure to be “returned to sender” by the Chinese authorities. It’s a rollicking read that, among other things, has a long section on the 1989 movement.