Smog is coming, the book that is

Updated: 2014-11-19 07:53

By Liu Zhihua(China Daily)

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Smog is coming, the book that is

Li Chunyuan talks to people about environmental problems on the streets of Langfang, Hebei province, on a smoggy day while passing out his books for free to residents. Photo provided to China Daily

Li Chunyuan has published hundreds of opinion pieces in mainstream newspapers and magazines, such as People's Daily and China Environment News. As a top official of the Environmental Protection Bureau of Langfang, a city in northern China's Hebei province, most of Li's writings have naturally focused on environmental issues.

He has also written a few short stories.

But the deputy director of the bureau didn't expect to make headlines with a novel.

His 240,000-word book, Smog Is Coming, was published by the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Press in June, and soon became a hit both online and offline.

"It's my first lengthy novel. I'm confident about its content and quality, but I never dreamed it would draw so much attention," Li says. "I'm overwhelmed."

Within a short time after its release, the book sold about 4,000 copies and around 7,000 were distributed to the public for free. Its excerpts online received more than 20 million hits, and some 5,000 comments showed that people favored the novel.

Born in Langfang in 1962, Li joined the army in 1980 and worked as an educational officer until his retirement in 2008, when he joined the environment bureau.

In the past few years, he has witnessed growing public concern about pollution, given that smog has been frequently shrouding many parts of China, including Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. According to Li, the public lacks sufficient awareness on environmental issues and sometimes blames agencies such as his bureau for failing to protect the environment.

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