by Jiang Rong
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The sheer size of China’s population is the nation’s blessing and its curse. The hundreds of millions of workers who can produce goods cheaper and faster than anywhere else drive its rise as an economic superpower, but this astounding human density has taken a toll on the environment: The needs of 1.3 billion people have left little room for unspoiled wilderness. Then there is the psychological cost. Let’s just put it this way: If you’re one in a million in China, there are 1,299 others—and counting—just like you.
Those facts might help explain the amazing success of Jiang Rong’s debut novel, Wolf Totem. First published in Chinese in 2004, the book has sold over four million official copies and many times more in pirated versions. Its publishers believe Wolf Totem to be the second-most-read volume in Chinese
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