When Space Rocket Factory Number Two closes down in the small Chinese town of Shaoyang, it is the signal for the old culture to confront the new. Party Secretary Li cannot cope, and commits suicide, but not before daubing a series of slogans onto sheets of rice paper and hanging them outside his bedroom window. Those left behind have to clear up after him. Meanwhile Old Zhu?s son, Da Shan, has returned from the city and fallen in love ? precipitating a clash of the generations and reviving long-buried memories.
In The Drink and Dream Teahouse, ordinary people struggle to come to terms with a China that has radically changed since 1949. With loves, lives and losses brought into utter clarity, the characters in Justin Hill?s novel live in the half-light between remembered doctrines and the newly-discovered pursuit of wealth and fulfilment. Touching, funny, and utterly memorable, The Drink and Dream Teahouse maps out the contours of human drama in a work which seduces with its laughter even while it devastates with its tragedy and sorrow.
Justin Hill is the author of one previous work, A Bend in the Yellow River. Born in 1971, he worked with VSO and lived in China for many years.