Shanghai Baby by Chinese author Wei Hui was translated into English when it reached great popularity in China. The story is about a modern woman in Communist China. Coco, is what many people would say, a very forward thinking woman. She moves out of her parents house to live with her boyfriend, dresses in sexy clothing, goes to parties, drinks, smokes and does many other things that some people might find surprising for a young Chinese woman to do. During the year or so that we follow Coco she falls in love and moves in with a young Chinese man, has an affair with a German foreigner and deals with the knowledge that the affair might destroy her relationship with the man that she loves. Drugs and sex make this novel very real and very shocking. If you are interested in how Shanghai women live and think, this would be a great entrance into the lives of modern China.
Four Stars ****