Shanghai Acrobat (Kobo eBook)
Proven appeal of subject: Insider stories from Communist China have proven to amass wide appeal and continue to sell. The closest comps thematically, also about children plucked to become artists in Communist China, Mao’s Last Dancer and Red Azalea, respectively scan at 60,000 copies (with 200 YTD of the 2006 edition) and 40,000 copies (with 175 YTD of the 2005 edition). Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution (2018) scans at 260,000; Life and Death in Shanghai scans at 34,000 (with 600 YTD of its 2010 edition).
Exquisite writing: Precise prose and lyrical description set this book apart from other memoirs. Like William Finnegan, whose surfing memoir Barbarian Days scans at 220,000 (10,100 YTD) and Haruki Murakami, whose meditation on running What I Talk About When I Talk About Running scans at 180,000 (4,800 YTD), Xue writes artfully about his sporting experiences and athletic maneuvers, meeting the page with the same skill and grace as his acrobatics.
China is in the headlines and book provides historical, first-person context to its complicated politics: China is a hot-button political topic after a year of tumultuous reporting from Wuhan, Hong Kong, and the tech sector. This vivid firsthand account provides insight into the superpower’s cultural, social, and political past.
Expert author and inside look at beloved art form: Very little has been written about the much-romanticized world of circus art. Taschen’s The Circus: 1870s–1950s, an illustrated volume, scans at 6300 copies (most from its $70 edition), Barnum: An American Life (08/2019) scans at 5000 (720 YTD). The author was China’s top performer and the world’s best handstand performer during a pivotal time in the history of circus arts. Since then, he’s coached young people to become award-winning performers on an international stage. Here he gives a compelling introduction to the art form and highlights the importance of discipline for excelling in any field.
Antique photographs: Book is complete with gripping black-and-white images displaying Communist China, intense acrobatic feats, elegant performers, and world leaders.
China is one of the most heavily visited nations in the world by Americans: In 2018, 2.5 million Americans visited China, proving the popularity of the historically and culturally rich nation and the potentially huge market for China-related stories.