Although the exhaustion and brutal exploitation of nature in the name of progress has been decried in recent decades, post-socialist China continues to use economic gains to justify the destruction of the majority of the populace and their environment. This article focuses on the lives of Chinese people and the ways in which urban spaces, which are the result of a long-term ideologically and economically driven development paradigm, are rendered spectral and uncanny by contemporary Chinese writers. Specters serve as common tropes for social injustice, personal vendettas, or unspeakable traumas. Di qi tian 第七天 (The Seventh Day, 2013) by Yu Hua 余華 (1960–) and Yuese liaoren 月色撩人 (Seductive Moon, 2008) by Wang Anyi 王安憶 (1954–) are analyzed in order to expose the dire effects of the urbanization of post-socialist China on the everyday lives of people of every profession, age, class, and gender.

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