Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured pop culture and science reads, books for kids and teens,special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Select topics of interest:
The Civil Servant's Notebook
The Civil Servant's Notebook

The Civil Servant's Notebook

China Library


324 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $21.00)

Publication Date: June 2016

ISBN 9780734399588

Rights: US & CA

Penguin Books China (Jun 2016)

Price: $15.95


A satirical absurdist blend blurring boundaries between fact and fiction in China's halls of power

Dongzhou City needs a new Mayor. Government corridors are awash with rumor and subterfuge as the local Communist Party mandarins go through the motions of selecting a candidate. Dangerous factions begin to form around the two contenders, Liu Yihe and Peng Guoliang. Devious plots, seduction, blackmail and bribery are all on the table in a no-holds-barred scramble for political prestige and personal gain. At the center of it all is a notebook whose pages contain information they shouldn't. Penned by a former insider, this book offers a glimpse into the distorted psyches of those who roam the guarded halls of Chinese political power. "Serve the people" is just about the last thing on their minds.


"Wang Xiaofang is the undisputed king of the genre." —the New Yorker

"Money. Power. Even sex, albeit offstage. Wang Xiaofang's novels capture it all – in the dog-eat-dog world of Chinese bureaucracy." —the Guardian

Author Biography

Wang Xiaofang was private secretary to Shenyang Deputy Mayor Ma Xiangdong from 1997-1999. Ma achieved infamy for gambling and losing millions in public money, and was sentenced to death for his crimes. Wang Xiaofang was found innocent of any involvement and left the service in 1999 to begin a career as political fiction writer. He has published 13 novels of political fiction in China, and his works regularly top the bestseller charts. This is the first of his books to be published in English.