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Electric Nights in Beijing

Nominated | Book Awards 2021 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)

Electric Nights in Beijing (Nouvelle Jeunesse)

This is the novel that the New China has been waiting for - the China of underground music, poetry and art, thriving in the aftermath of Mao and the Cultural Revolution.

Full Title: Electric Nights in Beijing

Author: Nicolas Idier
Publisher: Yatra Books
Translator: Sindhuja Veeraragavan
Original Language: French

Award Category: Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
About the Book: 

Electric Nights in Beijing is set in the backdrop of the student protests at Tiananmen Square. It is the story of a young rockstar, Feng Lei, who grows up in the West and comes back to China to meet his father, one of student protesters incarcerated in the aftermath of 1989. It is a shifting fresco of density and depth and a portrait of Beijing, the mysterious forbidden city, in the first decade of the 21st century.

About the Author: 

French author and sinologist, Nicolas Idier, has spent many years in China. He knows and loves the country deeply and expresses this sensitively in a stunning novel that captivates the reader from the first page.


Feng Lei, you know this city like the back of your hand and you trust it. You are able to retrace in your thoughts all its roads, as though for a treasure hunt, a quest for a nectar that will save you all, you and yours. You can ably retrace the path that leads to the little restaurant where Zhang Xiaopo gets sloshed every week, without remembering any of it, not even the frightening smell of the erguotou with its high alcohol volume, the consumption of which is regulated by the public health sector, although it remains the favourite drink of the Lao Beijing, the “Old Pekinese”.

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