Writer and lawyer Jia Fangyi filed suit against a local publishing house Monday at Xicheng district court, asking for compensation and a public apology over the destruction of 5,000 copies of his novel.
Jia has alleged that Beijing Yanshan Press, based in Xicheng, pulped the copies of his novel, A Dog's Lover and History, for which he had paid 14,000 yuan ($2,238) to Yanshan to publish.
However, Yanshan, which according to its website publishes historical and archaeological books, said Monday that permission to publish the novel was never granted, and it was Jia, not Yanshan, who organized for the book to be printed, and he also did not pay up front for the printing.
The novel, set in a village in Henan Province from 1860 to 1960, tracks the evolution of Chinese agriculture and Chinese society in general, Jia said Monday.
The book was initially cleared for publication, Jia alleged to the Global Times.
"But later Yanshan claimed there were some politically sensitive things in the book, and they didn't know if it was appropriate for publication," he said, adding that the novel did not contain political issues.
"I should have had the right to be informed before my books were destroyed," Jia said.
Chen Guo, deputy director of Yanshan, told the Global Times that Jia's book must be approved by the General Administration of Press and Publication before it can be published.
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