As people spend more time online consuming “tweets,” flipping through “posts,” and scrolling through “threads,” it is easy today to underestimate the power of a novel, the weight of a poem, or the impact of a story. In Why Fiction Matters in Contemporary China, David Der-wei Wang brilliantly illustrates the impact, relevance, and power of storytelling for both the nation and people’s everyday lives in China today. This is a hard-hitting and probing book that excavates the complex relationship between politics and narration, the national imperative and the cultural imagination. If I had to recommend a single book on contemporary Chinese literature, this would be it.