Deadly Quiet City Stories From Wuhan, COVID Ground Zero

Buy Now
Read a sample

From one of China's most celebrated and silenced literary authors, Murong Xuecun, Deadly Quiet City is an unforgettable collection of true stories from the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.

On 23 January 2020, Wuhan was placed in total lockdown. The city of eleven million – the centre of China’s coronavirus outbreak – was cut off from the world. As cherry blossoms fell on silent streets, people were left anxious and afraid, struggling to find medicine, food or information about the virus that had trapped them in their homes.

In April 2020, Murong Xuecun bravely travelled to the locked-down city, covertly interviewing people from all walks of life on their experiences as the catastrophe unfolded. An exhausted doctor in a small hospital, battling the virus while sick. An illegal motorcycle taxi driver, ferrying people around the empty city. A citizen journalist fighting to reveal the truth of what happened during that endless spring.

The result is eight stories that capture the voices and griefs of a city, and that Murong had to leave China in order to publish. Vivid and haunting, Deadly Quiet City is a unique piece of literary history that reveals so much about the lives of people, the pandemic and China today.

Includes editor’s note from Professor Clive Hamilton, author of Hidden Hand

read more

Love this? Share it around!








21cm x 13cm






Non-Fiction , Biography and Memoir


Hardie Grant Books


11 March 2022


Murong Xuecun

Murong Xuecun (nom de plume of Hao Qun) is one of China’s most famous authors. Through his novels and narrative non-fiction, he has been a rare independent voice writing from inside China. Murong’s first novel, Leave Me Alone: A novel of Chengdu, took China by storm in 2002. His recent books include the novel Dancing Through Red Dust and the non-fiction People’s Literature Prize winner The Missing