March 27 – Apr 03, 2008 Edition

Penguin Releases
Chinese Bestseller
Wolf Totem

NEW YORK, NY/3/27/2008–Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, today will release the acclaimed Chinese novel, Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong in the USA.  

The publicity-shy first-time author, who writes under a pen name, won the first Man Asian Literary Prize last year.  His thought-provoking novel is set in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution. The work has sold more than two million copies in China and is expected to sell equally well in the U.S. According to the International Herald Tribune, Penguin paid $100,000 for World Rights. 

The Beijing-based 61-year-old dissident, who has largely sought anonymity as his book and nom de plume have grown in celebrity in China, will not appear on tour. However, he will be presented by Howard Goldblatt, who translated the work.   

“I spent 30 years thinking, and six years writing ‘Wolf Totem, and my only hope was to produce an appealing story,” Rong said in a letter read by his Chinese publisher, Li Bo, when the Man award was announced in late 2007.

The book delivers a message about the state of modern China and Chinese culture. The work has been used by Chinese businesses as a motivational tool and has been sold for adaptation to film.

Penguin Group will do a global release of the book, which includes Penguin UK, US, Australia, South Africa, and India.