Chan Koonchung in the Sanlitun district of Beijing.
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Chan Koonchung's novel "The Fat Years", set in a China of the near-future where a dark moment of history has been erased from public memory, has never been published on the mainland.The book released in 2009 presents a dystopian vision of 2013 in which China's rise coincides with the economic weakening of the West. But its chances of being published in China were always going to be slim, given its allusions to the Communist Party's censorship machine and the way events such as the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown 25 years ago this week have been virtually deleted from official history. "The mentality of many Chinese has changed to wonder if maybe our government is doing something right -- it's more confident of its own system," said Chan, referring to China's increasing assertiveness in international relations.While he is willing to write "unpublishable" books that confront problems in modern China, Chan has nevertheless made Beijing his home and sees nothing changing there for the forseeable future.
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