The narrator of the book also the lexicographer was among the elite youths in the region. Because of the narrator being an elite among many who had no education of any kind, he was asked to go to south China at the time of Cultural Revolution. The narrator of the book was highly educated thus was sent to paint the slogans of the Maqiao people since he could also write (Shaogong, 5).
The narrator of the story had the sole responsibility of collecting essential information that could be used to form the vocabulary from the Maqiao community. He was also the person who assembled words with their descriptions and by use of all these entries would be made, and origins stated. The terms were then used to create stories, describe different characters, places and the culture of the people among more others (Shaogong, 67). Unlike the regular dictionary that we are all aware of, the book does not contain words in an alphabetic manner as used by the people in the region. The novel consists of brief stories and narratives that correlate with one way or the other hence demonstrating the entire picture of the people from Maqiao community.
Many will agree with the presumption that writing a dictionary is not an easy task. In order to make it possible for non-Chinese speaking individuals to read the novel, the translation ignored the entries in the English language. The paragraphs started with the terms that the author would include in the discussion later in the dictionary (Shaogong, 110). The Chinese words are in parenthesis to help the reader identify them with ease. The explanations also follow thereafter stating their denotation and the method in which they get used and the events or places they represent.
The observations that Han made while in the region with the other seven members of the group formed the basis of the novel he wrote. The primary theme that made a recurrence in the novel was sociolinguistics. The writer thus does this