Lulu's debut novel Lover's Socks is finally published with a first print of 100,000 copies. Lulu goes on a 10-city book tour to promote it. In every city, with every journalist and interviewer, she repeats over and over again the tales of her sad love story with Ximu who cheated on her and only wanted to take her as a lover not a wife. She is heard on radio, seen on TV and written about in newspapers. Although Lulu enjoys the attention afforded a rising author, she cannot help but feel a sense of irony about the whole thing. The six-year, on-off relationship with Ximu almost destroyed her confidence and made her look like a failure in the eyes of parents and relatives. But now she is achieving a measure of fame and fortune from the whole sorry story. She needs to smile at readers as she signs copies. She calls her friend Niuniu. 'Believe it or not, I'm selling my trauma. I guess everything is commercialised. The market is what counts.' Niuniu, who recently filed a story on the Chinese literary scene, comforts Lulu: 'Nothing is wrong with making a living off one's trauma. Mo Yan, the author of The Republic Of Wine always writes about hungry peasants in his stories. Jung Chang, the author of Wild Swans, tells the stories of three generations of women's suffering. Amy Tan is another who made a bundle by selling sorrowful stories to the West. Look at Hollywood; movies about the Holocaust always do well. Selling trauma has proven to be a good business model to follow.' After talking to Niuniu, Lulu feels at ease. She thinks to herself, 'After all, everybody else is doing it. What the heck? It's karma perhaps. I was wronged and now I'm paid back.' A few days later, Beibei, another of Lulu's girlfriends, brings along a Hollywood-based Chinese film agent who is looking for cross-cultural projects. They meet at the lavish St Regis Hotel. The agent's name is Doug and he gets straight to the point. 'The storyline is great. A Chinese man is dumped in France by his Chinese wife and then he goes back to China and becomes a womaniser who takes revenge on Chinese women. You have done a great job exploring the psyche of Chinese women who abandon their Chinese husbands after moving to the West and the sense of defeat that Chinese men have in the West. But your story is not sad enough.' 'What do you mean?' Lulu asks. 'From Hollywood's perspective, if a movie is about China and it is not about kung fu, it needs to have some cultural flavours. The sad cultural and political situations in other countries often make Americans feel better about themselves. As long as you can make them feel that way, it's entertaining. So I suggest you add in more about the low status of Chinese women. It's best to include the topics of prostitution and foot binding.' 'But my story is a modern-day story. How can I write about foot-binding, which is no longer being practiced in China?' Doug laughs. 'What about creating an older woman whose feet were bound - the male character's grandmother or great grandmother, for example. The whole point is to show how backward China was.' 'What about prostitution? Why is it needed?' Lulu asks. 'Nowadays, even a Nobel Laureate Prize winner has said that prostitutes have inspired him. You see, a lot of Western men come to Asia to get cheap sex. So create an intriguing Chinese prostitute.' Lulu's anger is quite visible as she gets to her feet. 'Doug, Richard Mason wrote about The World Of Suzie Wong 50 years ago. You Hollywood dream merchants need to update your collections.' Lulu then gives Beibei a broad wink as she says, 'Let's go girl, we have to meet Niuniu at the opium den.' The two giggle as they walk off arm in arm.