From the Q&A with Justin McDonnell:

How did Forbidden Game come to fruition?

I guess you could say it’s been nearly a decade in the making. Not long after I started writing about the topic, I realized the story of golf in China is much bigger than golf itself. Ever since golf reemerged in China 30 years ago, its growth has served as a barometer for China’s economic rise. But golf’s enduring reputation as an elitist, land-and-water-hungry pursuit runs counter to nearly every stated focus of the Chinese government. Golf is a symbol of corruption, rural land rights disputes, environmental neglect, the growing gap between rich and poor, and a shrinking supply of arable land. In many ways golf, and the complex world that surrounds it in China, is a microcosm of the contradictory country as a whole.

But I didn’t want this to be a dry work of nonfiction – a chapter on this topic, a chapter on that topic. I wanted it to be alive and character-driven. So that’s when I decided to tell the story from the perspective of three men caught up in China’s bizarre golf scene in very different ways. Their stories intertwine and intersect, and make the book much more show than tell. But to do it correctly required a large investment of time. I hope the end result was worth the wait.

Read the rest at The Diplomat.