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A lively and cinematic twentieth-century epic, Red Poppies focuses on the extravagant and brutal reign of a clan of Tibetan warlords during the rise of Chinese Communism. The story is narrated by chieftain Maichi's youngest son, a self-professed "idiot" who reveals the bloody feuds, seductions, secrets and scheming behind his family's struggles for power. When the chieftain agrees to grow opium poppies with seeds supplied by the Chinese Nationalists in exchange for modern weapons, he draws his lands into the opium trade – and unwittingly plants the seeds for a downfall.

Alai born in Markang County what is now Western Sichuan, has published three novels and numerous short stories. He was awarded the prestigious Mao Dun Literary Prize for Red Poppies in 2000. Alai writes in Chinese.

Please note this is a book discussion, not a talk. The author will not be present.