China Mountain Zhang, by Maureen McHugh

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China Mountain Zhang, by Maureen McHugh

Postby Omphalos » Fri May 29, 2009 3:48 pm

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One of the big problems that I have with book reviewers out there, myself included I suppose, is not that they are unable to shuck off their own personal prejudices when writing reviews; its that they pretend that they are even able to shuck them off, then utterly fail to do so, or even to remain objective. I was reminded of this while reading this week's selection China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh. I have read a couple of first efforts this year. This one for example, and recently The Unselfish Gene by Robert Adams. As I finished this book and planned my review I was struck by how different the two works were. The Unselfish Gene was a lust tinged survival story set in a zombie infested world. China Mountain Zhang was a sensitive coming-of-age tale about a gay twenty-something American Born Chinese living in New York City in a third-world, barely emergent, communist United States. Radically different stories to be sure. I was very happy with the review I wrote for The Unselfish Gene, and I wondered to myself, even if I can do McHugh's book justice, would someone reading one review after the other on my web-site consider it absurd that I had given both such high marks? Mostly this whole rigmarole I put myself through is about self-discovery. But to tell the truth sometimes, times like this actually, I question whether I am gaining any headway...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: China Mountain Zhang, by Maureen McHugh

Postby SandChigger » Fri May 29, 2009 5:01 pm

I was wondering if "China Mountain" had anything to do with Zhongshan, which is Yatsen's name in Mandarin. :)
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Re: China Mountain Zhang, by Maureen McHugh

Postby Omphalos » Fri May 29, 2009 5:50 pm

I believe that McHugh lived in China for some time. There are enormous amounts of information about Chinese culture and linguistics in this book, and a lot of speculation too, as its a future utopia/dystopia piece. But yes, that was the source of the name. People joked a few times about the main character having a name equivalent to "Sun Yat Smith" or "John Wayne Yang."
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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