The Monkey and the Dragon (2001)

‘Some reports named a mysterious foreign woman, known only as Linda, as the suspected mastermind behind the defection. She was Hou’s secret lover, or a Communist agent, or both, but it was widely known that his wife had long suspected there was something not right in their relationship…’ (read whole excerpt here)

Linda Jaivin first met Hou Dejian, a Taiwan popstar, in 1981. She charts his fascinating life and their enduring friendship against the backdrop of Chinese politics and culture, as he defects to the mainland and participates in the protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, hides in the Australian embassy and is eventually expelled, the first Taiwan defector to be ‘returned to sender’.

Liu Xiaobo, who won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, plays a major role in Hou’s story, and the author’s. This book provides an intimate insight into the man who has become China’s most famous and celebrated pro-democracy activist – and prisoner of conscience.

‘Simple and unpretentious… lively and likeable… a fine piece of reconstructed reportage, in which the author wisely allows events to speak for themselves… Jaivin’s narrative moves from lighthearted absurdity to movingly rendered tragedy.’ The Age

‘Jaivin picks carefully through the myths and inaccuracies that still surround the demonstrations and subsequent massacre, never losing her narrative drive… The combination of Jaivin’s pop status and her passion-infused yet clean prose bringing the personal and political tumult… to a new audience.’ The Bulletin

‘A fresh and insightful perspective.’ China Journal

The Monkey and the Dragon is currently out of print but is available as an ebook.

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