We've posted about author, race driver and uberblogger Han Han here from time to time. There will shortly be a compliation of his work coming out in English. Evan Osnos sets the scene:
Han Han's rise may be most interesting for what it says about his biggest fans: China's post-1989 generation. The people to whom Han Han most appeals in China -- and maybe one day in other countries -- were typically born after or near the end of the Cold War era. They find it easier to conceptualize a writer who can sharply criticize the government in one post and then, in another, oppose revolution by arguing that revolutionary struggles may cause more sorrow than they're worth. Young Chinese don't seem bothered that Han Han can be as passionate about racing as he is about writing, can blog with equal verve about environmental protests and the frustrations of schoolwork, and seems to revel in tweaking Internet censors by using word play and jokes to hide some of his most trenchant criticisms of the establishment. And they may be intrigued by someone who often seeks the limelight, yet claims he passed up an invitation to meet with Barack Obama when the president came to Shanghai (a claim that has not been verified).
There are unproven but persistent claims that Han is the face of a collectve endeavour; a writing and marketing team run by his father designed to establish him as a 'voice of a generation' project. If anything, this would make Brand Han Han more interesting as a phenomenon: naughty but nice; alienated but successful; individualistic but representative; a disenchanted but not oppositional critic of a regime that is uncool but not intolerable. Such is the space opened up in China's journey from tyranny to oligarchy.