Anthill book launch: 27 Nov (Beijing Bookworm)


Ants, countrymen, lend me your ears – the moment you didn't realise you've been waiting for has arrived.

The Anthill has been going strong for over three years, and now we're reaching a bit of a climax, with the publication of an anthology of our best stories, While We're Here. On Friday November 27th (from 7.30pm) we're having a big bash at the Beijing Bookworm to celebrate, and we hope the Beijingers among you can join us to drink a glass of mulled wine and have a flip through the book.


Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Fresh blood – fiction by Max Berwald


All morning a cool, hard wind blew out of the north. At noon his phone vibrated against his arm and he sat up in bed and the wind stopped blowing. “Hello?”

“Mr. Zhang?”


“I’m calling from People’s General Health Services in Haidian.”

Chongan nodded, rubbing his eyes. “I already...” He was still high. He scanned the bed but Morgan was gone. No, she’d fallen asleep at Olu’s– he’d gone home without her? “I already picked up my results.”

“I was hoping we could meet for lunch.”


Fruit vendor

A poem by Eleanor Goodman


He sleeps under a neon sky

beside his fruit.

When it rains, his roof


is the bamboo mat where he slept.

Dragonfruit, canary melon, loquat, sugar-apple. 

His rice bowl.


I'm Not a Communist, But I Play One on TV

Life and times of a token white guy – by Jonathan ‘Cao Cao’ Kos-Read


The guy with the world’s biggest dick was on Howard Stern once.

Everybody was fascinated. Who wouldn't be? His dick was 14 inches long, as thick as a baby's arm. And everyone had questions: could he get it all the way in? Had he ever fucked a guy? Did erections make him light-headed? Pressing, important burning questions. But all the guy wanted to talk about was his novel – a long thing about intergenerational conflict and the struggle between morality and family and … or you know, something. Nobody was listening. They just wanted to know about his dick.

And honestly, I often feel the same way. I have a job that people think is interesting – both in an amusing way, but also as an odd sideways window into Chinese culture.

I play white guys in Chinese movies.


The Room

A short story by Pema Tseden, translated by Lowell Cook


The end of winter is about to arrive. Listening to the sound of the cold wind whipping outside, I really miss that room and its warmth.

I’m traversing the side-streets alone, tracing my way back to that room, but now, the room remains empty.

Yesterday, it snowed. With the snowfall, the weather has turned extremely cold. Not the slightest trace of warmth remains in the room which now lies empty. Meanwhile, a few dust-covered objects shiver from the cold. And, as for the room itself, it seems unpleasantly chilly now that the scent of people has long since faded.

Towards the end of winter last year, the room was still filled with warmth. That was only because he – my heart’s true love – was there. Whenever it snowed, we would set out along those little streets blanketed in snow and head back to the room. Even though it’d be freezing inside the room, the nights the two of us spent together there were full of warmth.