The Age of Irreverence: An Interview

Christopher Rea’s new book explores five kinds of laughter that emerged from the tumultuous first decades of China’s twentieth century: jokes, play, mockery, farce, and humor. The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China (University of California Press, 2015) takes a playful approach to approaching play – it’s not every book of Chinese history and literature that comes with a blurb by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame, after all – and simultaneously offers readers a useful lens into modern Chinese history and a pleasurable introduction to some fascinating primary sources. We recently talked about it for the New Books in East Asian Studies podcast, and you can listen to the interview here.