Peter from China Whisper recommends 10 novels that have shaped popular culture in modern China. From Weijing Zhu at the World of Chinese:
1) The Republic of Wine by Mo Yan
The Republic of Wine: A Novel takes place in a fictional province in modern China. The plot is filled with enticing yet horrific accounts of corruption and hallucination, and mixes many different styles: satire, surrealism, detective, martial arts or wuxia, and more. Mo Yan once called it his most perfect novel.
2) Civil Servant’s Notebook by Wang Xiaofang
Corruption, bribery, seduction, power struggles and cunning plans… You’ll get the insider’s scoop in Wang Xiaofang’s Civil Servant’s Notebook.
3) I Love Dollars by Zhu Wen
Despite the nation’s official stance as a Communist country, China has turned largely capitalist. Zhu Wen tells imaginative stories of the post-Mao China, in a spiritually bankrupt and monetarily-driven time.