A Chinese edition of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake has sold out in China, with a second edition being printed to meet the demand.

Joyce’s final work, Finnegans Wake is known for its complex use of language and it took 17-years to complete.

The famous novel took eight years to translate into Chinese and an initial run of 8,000 copies sold out in just over one month, since its release on December 25.

The BBC reports the book was promoted on billboards in Shanghai and Beijing.

The book’s translator Dai Congrong told a literary forum that she tried to ensure the Chinese translation was as complex as the original.

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"I would not be faithful to the original intent of the novel if my translation made it easy to comprehend," said Congrong, who is a professor at Shanghai's Fudan University.

"At first I felt very surprised, and I feel very surprised now still," says Congrong. "I thought my readers would be scholars and writers, and it wouldn't be so popular."

The Shanghai News and Publishing Bureau reported the novels sales were second behind a biography of Deng Xiaoping, a politician and reformist leader of the Communist Party, in the “good books” category.