Skip to main content
Beijing Sprawl

Beijing Sprawl

Current price: $17.95
Publication Date: June 13th, 2023
Two Lines Press
Usually Ships in 1 to 5 Days


Stories of friendship, failure, and survival from Xu Zechen, author of "some of the most exciting and energized writing coming out of China now." (Paul French)

Muyu, a seventeen-year-old from a small village, came to Beijing for his piece of the dream: money, love, a good life. But in the city, daily life for him and his friends--purveyors of fake IDs and counterfeit papers--is a precarious balance of struggle and guile. Surveying the neighborhood from the rooftop of the apartment they all share, the young men play cards, drink beer, and discuss their aspirations, hoping for the best but expecting little more than the comfort of each other's company. In these connected stories translated from Chinese by Eric Abrahamsen and Jeremy Tiang, Xu's characters observe as others like them--workers, students, drifters, and the just plain unlucky--get by the best ways they know how: by jogging excessively, herding pigeons, building cars from scraps, and holding their friends close through the miasma of so-called progress.