AUGUST 2010: In 2008, "Years of Red Dust" came out in France. In 2009, it was released in German, along with an ARTE TV documentary showing the scenes of the lane (see earlier entry) during the Frankfurt Book Fair. In the same year, the Chinese translation of it appeared, which was selceted by Asia Weekly as one of "ten best books in Asia" that year. The English version of this collection is coming out in September 2010.
Above and below, pictures of Qiu in the actual "Red Dust" lane.
MAY 2009: Qiu recently visited Shanghai and Beijing for a TV-ARTE documentary project. They shot scenes in a variety of locations, including his old home, the places Inspector Chen frequents, the Bund, old shikumen, and the lane upon which Red Dust is based. Qiu says that "it was an exhausting trip, but really fun, in the company of the wonderful producer, Cordula Paetzel."
QIU'S NEW BOOK, "YEARS OF RED DUST," SERIALIZED in LE MONDE in French, starting July 16, 2008.
MAY 2008: Qiu appears on Sexy Beijing, a popular program on China's #1 Internet TV station. He had nothing to do with it -- he was simply written into the program! The YouTube video is here. The caption calls him "the dreamy author of the Detective Chen mystery series."
Click on the links to read interviews with Qiu discussing his life and writings, and reviews of his books.
“Stupendous…It does what detective fiction can do best: Itcaptures the details, the grit of everyday life…A matchless pearl.” --MaureenCorrigan, “Fresh Air,” National Public Radio
“In Death of a Red Heroine China is not only thesetting; it is a major player… The Party’s attempts to recoup politicallegitimacy form the real setting for this mystery and cast a dark shadow overevery step in its resolution. Raw, naked power is at the core of both themurder and its investigation, but its manifestations are anything butpredictable in this splendid first work.” --RobertE. Hegel, Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, Washington University in St. Louis
“An absolutely exquisite book!” --DeadlyPleasure
"A brilliant debut…I cannot imagine any readers, includingfellow whodunit addicts, who would want to miss this fine novel, which makes astrong bid for a place in lasting literature.” --MonaVan Duyn, U.S. Poet Laureate
“Riveting and convincing.” --FarEastern Economic Review
A Loyal Character Dancer:
“A knockout.” --PoisonedPen Booknews
“Engaging realism and charm, even while showing theunderside of China in transition.” --PublishersWeekly
“With A Loyal Character Dancer, Qiu has given us aneven more lyrically written, wide-ranging, bittersweet story.” --S.J.Rozan,Mystery News
“If you like mysteries with both a brain and a heart, read ALoyal Character Dancer.” --RockyMountain News
“Enchanting…Shanghai under the masterful literary talents ofQiu Xiaolong, is described with breathtaking realism.” --TampaTribune
When Red is Black:
“A vivid portrait of modern Chinese society…full of thesights, sounds and smell of Shanghai…A work of real distinction." --WallStreet Journal
“These are mysteries to savor.” --Booklist(starred review)
“[A] terrific series…a cultural twist and unusual directionand one feels Qiu pushing the envelope of the detective series genre.” --TheAsian Review of Books
“Captivating and intriguing.” --MysteryNews
“A great read.” --Guardian
A Case of Two Cities:
"Dark, gorgeous...feels authentically Chinese and it works like a charm...a gritty, suspenseful tale." --The Washington Post Book World
Red Mandarin Dress:
"Gracefully illuminates many aspects of modern Chinese culture and society for the American reader." -- The Denver Post
The Mao Case:
"A great story and there's no shortage of real suspense. Getting an insider's view of modern shanghai and modern Chinese police techniques is just gilding the lily." -- The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Years of Red Dust:
"On the one hand, living conditions are much better," says prominent crime novelist Qiu Xiaolong. Qiu sets his books in 1990s Shanghai. "At the same time, people feel kind of lost. In my books, people sit in front of their shikumen [stone gate] houses and talk. Nowadays people are shut-up in air-conditioning. They want things to be better, but they they don't know whether to look forward or back." --Time
"Xiaolong's latest is a collection of linked stories from the vantage point of the inhabitants of Red Dust Lane in Shanghai depicting China through several tumultuous decades, from 1949 to 2005. Most begin with excerpts from the year-end issue of the Red Dust Lane Blackboard Newsletter, a summary of the year's political changes, which read like a mini history lesson. In "Return of POW 1," the Red Dust Lane residents are told in 1953 that Bai Jie, a nurse in the Chinese People's Volunteers during the Korean War, has been killed. She is mourned and honored until 1954 when, to the Red Dust residents' surprise, she returns after being released from a POW camp. Instead of a hero's welcome, she is greeted with suspicion. "Cricket Fighting," set in 1969, is centered on the neighborhood's eponymous popular sport. The narrator is a young child whose status is briefly elevated after receiving the gift of Big General, a superstar cricket. Xiaolong's writing is transportive, and readers will feel as though they've traveled through China's history. He captures the mood of this fascinating country through its most ordinary citizens." -- Publisher's Weekly