Publications: Renditions Paperbacks

High quality translations in attractive paperback editions

"Fortunately, Renditions publishers ... is helping to fill the gap ... with a fine paperback series."
Choice


 I.    Hong Kong Literature
Hong Kong Stories:
Old Themes New Voices
The Cockroach and
other stories
Marvels of a Floating City My City: a hongkong story
A Girl Like Me & other stories (enlarged edition)
   


 II.   Women Writers
City Women:
Contemporary Taiwan Women Writers
Contemporary Women Writers: Hong Kong and Taiwan
May Fourth Women Writers: Memoirs    


 III.  Contemporary Fiction
Huang Chunming Stories    
Love in a Small Town Love on a Barren Mountain
Traces of Love and other stories Living with Their Past: Post-Urban Youth Fiction
Blue Sky Green Sea and other stories A Chinese Winter's Tales
Borrowed Tongue Black Walls and
other stories
Explosions and
other stories
Homecoming? and other stories


 IV.  Modern Poetry
The Carving of Insects Notes of a Blissful Ghost
Shu Ting:
Selected Poems
Gu Cheng:
Selected Poems


 V.   Classical Literature
A Silver Treasury of Chinese Lyrics A Golden Treasury of Chinese Poetry
A Little Primer of
Tu Fu
Silent Operas








Hong Kong Stories: Old Themes New Voices

Edited by Eva Hung
1999
160 pages
ISBN 962-7255-20-3


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This is a collection of stories by six young writers who have gained prominence in the Hong Kong literary scene in the last decade of the 20th century. In telling the Hong Kong story, they face up to such issues as rapid economic and political changes as well as the continuous impact of Western ideas and mores. They make a conscious effort to explore their own identity from a Hong Kong perspective, and to describe Hong Kong's special way of life and the trials and tribulations of a populace caught between two cultures.


'The six selections contained in Hong Kong Stories, all by younger writers and all published this decade, indicate the presence of a vibrant and sophisticated writing scene.'
World Literature Today


'Although penned by different authors and translators, the collection possesses a strong continuity. The prose is exceptionally elegant and reads well in English. ln several stories, fantasy and reality, past and present and several first-person narrators intermingle smoothly. There is modernism yet rich Chinese imagery and fantasy.'
—South China Morning Post








The Cockroach and other stories

By Liu Yichang
Translated by D. E. Pollard
1996
xi + 151 pages
ISBN 962-7255-15-7

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Liu Yichang arrived in Hong Kong as a journalist from the wartime capital of Chungking, and has devoted the best part of his long career to serving the cause of literature in Hong Kong. He founded the influential Hong Kong Literature Monthly and is still active as its editor and as a translator of Western fiction into Chinese.

The stories presented here demonstrate his unfailing inventiveness with form and technique. At the same time, they reveal the pain and pleasures of ordinary lives in present-day Hong Kong.


'A deep thinker, Liu has allowed his views on philosophy to filter into his work.'
South China Morning Post


''These stories... capture photographically the endlessly fascinating life of a city in constant flux.'
World Literature Today




Renditions Paperbacks presents the work of Hong Kong author Xi Xi:
Zhang Yan, writing under the pen-name Xi Xi, is Hong Kong's most distinguished fiction writer. The haunting, often morbid lyricism that marks her writing has won her many awards, a devoted following in Hong Kong and Taiwan and a growing audience in China.





Marvels of a Floating City

By Xi Xi
Edited by Eva Hung
1999, 1997
142 pages
ISBN 962-7255-18-1


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Xi Xi eloquently conveys the mood of the city during the 1980s in this collection of stories. In the first half of the decade, the Chinese and British governments negotiated Hong Kong's fate, occasioning among the general population intense soul-searching and close scrutiny of their society.

The old and the new, the real and the fantastic, Western culture and local perception are skilfully woven together here to create narratives of the hopes, anger and fears which gripped the people of Hong Kong in this crucial period of their history.


'Xi Xi is now one of the most familiar and best translated of the Hong Kong writers; Marvels of a Floating City confirms her versatility in reconceptualizing that harried and hurried corner of the globe.'

World Literature Today








My City: a hongkong story

By Xi Xi
Translated by Eva Hung
1993
xvii + 180 pages
ISBN 962-7255-11-4


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Hong Kong in the 1970s is a time of rapid economic growth, and more significantly, of growth in self-confidence and the forging of a local identity. In a disarming style that is uniquely her own, Xi Xi weaves a deceptively child-like narrative against the background of the political and social problems of this complex society.

Seldom has a writer captured the spirit of a generation with such apparent simplicity and ease.


'The very first to depict Hong Kong from a fresh... human and emotional point of view... a place to live, to work, and to have fun; and for some, there are not many places in the world that can replace Hong Kong.'

World Literature Today








A Girl Like Me & other stories
(enlarged edition)

By Xi Xi
Translated by Eva Hung
1999
160 pages
ISBN 962-7255-19-X


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With three additional stories, the enlarged edition of this anthology presents samples from the author's entire writing career, ranging from the 1960s to the 1990s. It includes excerpts from Xi Xi's Elegy for a Breast, an intensely personal account of her own battle with cancer.

Xi Xi's fascinating rendering of the fusion of East and West, tradition and modernity that is Hong Kong assures her place in the literary annals of this unique society.


'A writer who deserves a place in the international library'

Far Eastern Economic Review


'Her stories blend sophistication with an unflinching, childlike wonder.'

 —Islands








City Women:
Contemporary Taiwan Women Writers

Edited by Eva Hung
2001
160 pages
ISBN 962-7255-23-8


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Five brilliant women writers from Taiwan confront issues facing women in intensely urban environments like Taipei. These stories are profound explorations of human nature, gender manipulation and the sense of isolation that mark life in a fast-changing metropolis.


'Taipei is arguably the most distinctive and under-appreciated city in Asia, but these five stories by Taiwanese women authors render it with an immediacy that is positively tactile.'                
—South China Morning Post








Contemporary Women Writers:
Hong Kong and Taiwan

Edited by Eva Hung
1990; 1992
xii + 131 pages
ISBN 962-7255-08-4


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Hong Kong Only: HK$98.00
Overseas: US$16.50

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A ground-breaking collection featuring a sparkling array of stories from seven of Hong Kong and Taiwan's leading women writers. Writing from two Chinese experiences, the authors provide a glimpse of changing attitudes and social structures in dealing with topics such as abortion, runaway wives, family and female sexuality.

These stories provide ample evidence as to why women writers hold such a prominent position in the contemporary Chinese literary world.


'This fascinating set of tales, all stylishly translated, is a welcome insight into a world that is not always easily approachable for English language readers.'
Sunday Morning Post


'A gem of an anthology, selecting in its short space widely varying literary styles...'
Choice








May Fourth Women Writers: Memoirs

Edited by Janet Ng and Janice Wickeri
1996
135 pages
ISBN 962-7255-17-3


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A valuable resource for the specialist, this volume also provides the general reader a glimpse into the lives of educated women in the 1920s and 30s in China through material seldom available in English. The women writers who tell their stories here broke boldly with tradition, taking the first steps in the formation of a new image of modern Chinese womanhood.

Janet Ng's introduction draws comparisons with Western women's experience while making clear the authors' achievements in the development of modern Chinese literature. Short biographical sketches of each of the seven authors are also included.


'The individual offerings are fascinating and delightful reading; at the same time they are revealing portrayals of the thinking that prompted these women to write down their experiences.'
 —China Review International




Wang Anyi in Renditions Paperbacks:
In the 1980s, Wang Anyi established herself as one of China's most subtle and imaginative young writers. Her Love Trilogy, which aroused a storm of political criticism mainly because of its sexual frankness, cemented her reputation. Two volumes of the Trilogy are available as Renditions Paperbacks.







Huang Chunming Stories

Translated by Harward Goldblatt
2013
175 pages
ISBN 978-962-7255-39-0

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The Stories and novellas of Huang Chunming collected here, brilliantly translated by Howard Goldblatt, the pre-eminent translatorof modern Chinese literature into English, present a vivid panorama of the author's short fiction over the past six decades. Huang, who has been from the beginning of his career something of both an artistic and social conscience of contemporary Taiwan, has always been intent upon capturing the instances and rhythms of the life of the ordinary people of Taiwan,even in the children's literature he has devoted himself to in recent years.As a pioneer of the local style that captured the imagination of the Taiwan literary scene in the 1970s, he was perhaps the major voice in creating a new literature and culture reflecting the vibrancy of modern Taiwanese life, particularly its rural roots. He now works in his native city of Yilan, where he is the gracious proprietor of a coffee house that doubles as a venue for children's theatrical productions.







Love in a Small Town

By Wang Anyi
Translated by Eva Hung
1988;1990;1994
ix + 108 pages
ISBN 962-7255-03-3


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A true story based on Wang's experiences in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution, Love in a Small Town is also the author's personal exploration into human nature and sexuality. Written at a time when sex was still a taboo subject in China, the book's real innovation is not its sexual explicitness, but its acknowledgement of sexual love as a powerful force in human life.


'Wang Anyi is credited with creating fiction from a woman's point of view.'

Choice


'An affirmation of female sexuality... The author's keen observation of the psychosexual impulses of adolescents is engaging...'

—The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs








Love on a Barren Mountain

By Wang Anyi
Translated by Eva Hung
1991;1992
xiii + 145 pages
ISBN 962-7255-09-2


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This second volume of the Love Trilogy, like the first, is based on real events the author observed during the Cultural Revolution and her days of manual labour in the countryside. Wang takes the basic facts of this tragic tale of extra-marital love and develops them into a tale of universal power.

With her rare insight and great descriptive powers, she reveals the way in which, in a restrictive society, the power of love can turn destructive.


'I think she has interesting things to say about relationships between men and women, and anyone familiar with the Chinese literary scene over the past few years will quickly realize how courageous she is to have tackled this subject so honestly and openly.'
—The China Quarterly


'The reader will enjoy and applaud the author's ingenious probing into the psychology of the two sexes in love.'
World Literature Today








Traces of Love and other stories

By Eileen Chang
Edited by Eva Hung
2000
142 pages
ISBN 962-7255-22-X


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Eileen Chang occupies a unique position in modern Chinese literature. She was a popular writer with enduring appeal, whose work has inspired successive generations. As a young woman in her mid-twenties, she wrote her most acclaimed stories in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. The popularity of these works has seen major revivals in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and since the 1980s, in the Chinese mainland where her work had been banned. When she died in 1995, she had achieved near-cult status.

Writing in 1961, Professor C.T. Hsia called Eileen Chang 'the best and most important writer in Chinese today [whose] short stories invite valid comparisons with, and in some respects claim superiority over, the work of serious modern women writers in English'.


'[Chang's] astute eye for the detail of character and conversation, and the universal transience of life, make for a wonderful collection.'
    'These stories ... entertain with a glowing wit, beautifully maintained in these translations.'   
—South China Morning Post






Living with Their Past:
Post-Urban Youth Fiction

By Zhang Kangkang
Edited by Richard King
2003
144 pages
ISBN 962-7255-26-2


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In a career spanning thirty years, Zhang Kangkang has published novels, novellas, short stories, memoirs and numerous essays, making her one of China's leading contemporary writers.

A teenager at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Zhang was caught up in the Mao's campaign to send educated urban youth "down" to poor and remote parts of rural China. On their return to the cities in the late 1970s, many began to write about their experience, and "urban youth (zhiqing) literature" was born. Zhang became one of its leading exponents.

The theme of these stories is that of urban youth—back in the cities but no longer young—confronting their past. In these stories the reader encounters the experiences which shaped and still haunt an entire generation of Chinese.

' Living with Their Past includes ... three stories ... Each of the stories is followed by a dialogue between Richard King and the writer. The introduction provides readers with both useful information on the author and her writing and the editor's comments on the stories and on zhiqing literature....'

一Pacific Affairs








Blue Sky Green Sea and other stories

By Liu Sola
Translated by Martha Cheung
1993
xxv + 145 pages
ISBN 962-7255-12-2


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Liu Sola refuses to deal with serious subjects seriously. Or so it seems. Her wild casual style has a rebellious ring to it and her urbanite trend-setting protagonists are particularly appealing to China's younger generation. Behind the insistent frivolity and ephemeral tone, however, lie questions concerning the nature of art and the self-realization of the artist.

A woman of many talents, Liu Sola is a singer, composer and actress as well as a writer. She left China in 1988 and now resides abroad.


'Ms Liu's stories focus on art and artists, but they are really stories about individuals and individualism.'
South China Morning Post








A Chinese Winter's Tales

By Yu Luojin
Translated by Rachel May and Zhu Zhiyu
1986;1988;1990;1995
xix + 210 pages
ISBN 962-201-383-X


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A compelling social document as well as an intensely personal account of the author's experiences as a young woman during the Cultural Revolution. One of the first post-Cultural Revolution texts to deal openly with sex, its emotional honesty and spirited tone made it one of the most widely read and controversial works of contemporary Chinese literature.

The Renditions translation follows the original unexpurgated text.


'... a frightening account of ... endless persecution and deprivation...'

The China Quarterly








Borrowed Tongue

By Tao Yang
1986;1989
216 pages
ISBN 962-201-381-3


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An overseas Chinese woman confronts her past, seeking the origins of the insecurity that now besets her. The clues lead backwards, to her family and to China, to a past that is both obsession and legacy. She is now something of a foreigner even to herself—foreign culture, foreign children, foreign home.

An affecting and unusual story about the quest for identity, this is the only Renditions title originally written in English—a borrowed tongue.


'A touching story about a woman protagonist's struggle to find her identity among the different values that have been established for her.'

World Literature Today








Black Walls and other stories

By Liu Xinwu
Edited by Don J. Cohn
1990
xiii + 202 pages
ISBN 962-7255-06-8


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Liu Xinwu has been a prominent and acerbic chronicler of Chinese society, as well as one of China's most successful middle-aged writers. Appointed editor of People's Literature, the journal of the Chinese Writers' Association, in 1986, he was dismissed in 1990 due to his role as a sympathetic observer of the 1989 protests.

These stories reveal his remarkable literary versatility and also provide a fascinating insight into the tensions which have shaped Chinese society in recent decades.


'paints a vivid picture of life in the Chinese capital'

South China Morning Post

'... a welcome addition to the still very scant documentation in English of the relatively more daring literary statements produced in the pre-Tiananmen Incident atmosphere of the late 1980s.'
World Literature Today








Explosions and other stories

By Mo Yan
Edited by Janice Wickeri
1991;1993
xii + 214 pages
ISBN 962-7255-10-5


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Mo Yan is a native of rural Shandong, the site of his fictional Gaomi County, whose history and traditions he evoked so memorably in his novel Red Sorghum. He has been hailed as a Chinese Faulkner and a magic realist in the tradition of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but his stories also draw deeply on Chinese tradition and culture as well as on his own experience of the harsh life of China's countryside and his time as a PLA soldier.

His often dark vision is transformed by his deep love for his land and people, his mastery of language and the sheer intensity and exuberance of his writing.


'Like Faulkner, Mo Yan presents the reader with a vividly imagined and self-contained world teeming with life...'
—World Literature Today


' "The Old Gun" is a story of men and guns as good as any of Hemingway's.'

Pacific Affairs








Homecoming? and other stories

By Han Shaogong
Translated by Martha Cheung
1992
xxi + 161 pages
ISBN 962-7255-13-0


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A prominent and innovative representative of the 'root-seeking' school of fiction writing, Han Shaogong draws on myths, folklore and religious traditions in his search for the causes of China's cultural stagnation. An atmosphere of doubt and mystery, a lack of ready answers, pervades Han's work—a major departure from the moralist, didactic and propaganda modes which marked Chinese literature in the recent past.

Anyone interested in China, its culture and its people will find these stories thought-provoking and profoundly moving.


'Han skilfully juxtaposes modern roles and tradition in a well-crafted exploration of the post-Cultural Revolution era.'
Sunday Morning Post


'... one of the most innovative and accomplished writers to emerge after the Cultural Revolution.' 
 —World Literature Today








The Carving of Insects
By Bian Zhilin
Edited by Mary M.Y. Fung
Translated by Mary M.Y. Fung and David Lunde

2006
152 pages
ISBN 962-7255-33-5

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One of the most original voices in 20th-century Chinese poetry, Bian Zhilin (1910-2000) was known for his modern sensibility and intense lyrical appeal. His style combines the techniques of the French Symbolist poets and English language poets T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden with the best of Chinese poetic tradition. His lifelong experimentation with the poetic form and his theoretical explorations contributed significantly toward the formal development of vernacular poetry. This unique collection, a near-complete translation of Bian's entire corpus, puts his delicate craftsmanship centre stage.

This title was awarded the PEN USA 2007 Literary Award for Translation:


'The translation, done collaboratively by Mary M.Y. Fung and David Lunde, is artistically superb, textually faithful, and scholarly excellent.' (Judge's Citation)








Notes of a Blissful Ghost
By Yang Lian
Translated by Brian Holton
2002
160 pages
ISBN 962-7255-25-4


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Yang Lian burst on the Chinese poetry scene in the late 1970s as a member of the Today group. The political storms of the last two decades have turned him into a writer in exile.

Yang exploits this condition of exile to probe our human and linguistic predicaments. This leads to a continuous reinvention of the poet's self and his chosen form of expression. In Yang's own words, he is always 'crossing boundaries and scaling walls'.

This volume traces Yang's poetic career from 1982 to 2001. It is the most comprehensive and representative collection of Yang's work to date.


'... the job of translating [Yang Lian] is a Herculean—some might say Sisyphean—task requiring sensitivity, skill and sheer doggedness ... Holton, who has translated Yang's works since 1992, delivers all three, plus a vivid poetic sense of his own.'
—South China Morning Post


'Holton, who has worked closely with Yang, has rightly translated more than "just" meaning: "I continually try to discipline myself against writing elegant open lines where the original is cramped and dense".'
 —Pacific Affairs








Shu Ting: Selected Poems

Edited by Eva Hung
1994
xii + 134 pages
ISBN 962-7255-14-9


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China's leading woman poet, Shu Ting worked in the countryside until 1973, returning to the city to work on construction sites and in factories. In spite of all this, her firm faith in the human spirit led her to poetry. Her pure style and mature voice found a ready response among a generation shaped by the experiences of the Cultural Revolution.

The poems included in this first collection of Shu Ting's work in English span her career, amply demonstrating her poetic gifts.


'...Shu Ting is a poet of sorrow and a lyric wistfulness dominates her work. In early poems this sadness is often the expression of an adolescent sensibility; in later work she explores a more abstract, broadly existential melancholy. Another element of her mature writing is a powerful feminist consciousness.
    Selected Poems also confirms her credo that "Writing poetry is instinct / being called a poet is pure chance." '
World Literature Today








Gu Cheng: Selected Poems

Edited by Seán Golden and Chu Chiyu
1990;1996
182 pages
ISBN 962-7255-05-X


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Gu Cheng was part of the group which founded the seminal non-official literary journal Today during the 1979-80 Democracy Wall movement, or 'Beijing Spring', of which his own work became emblematic. A major talent, his poety stands as a reminder of the quality of work produced in China in the mid-1980s, despite sporadic official attacks.

Gu Cheng left China in 1987, settling finally in New Zealand, where he continued to experiment with poetic form and content. His personal life, however, took a tragic turn, culminating in his suicide and the death of his wife in 1993.


'... an important reference work for those interested in both Gu Cheng's poetry and his idiosyncratic ideals.'
The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs


'... a most distinctive voice that will be remembered for a long time to come.'
World Literature Today


'...this is an admirably produced book...[A]ll the signs are that this is a publishing enterprise of high quality scrupulously undertaken.'

South China Morning Post








A Silver Treasury of Chinese Lyrics

Edited by Alice W. Cheang
2003
186 pages
ISBN 962-7255-27-0


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The song lyric (ci), which began as a form of minor divertissement in the urban pleasure quarters of eighth and ninth century China, evolved into a major, and then dominant, poetic form over the four centuries that followed. Though most of the original tunes are now lost, the lyric remains unrivalled among Chinese literary genres for musicality and sheer evocative power. It was also, until modern times, the preferred vehicle for the expression of romantic love.

The 128 poems in this collection are chosen to represent the genre's major stylistic developments and the varied talents of its best poets. These poems have been translated by some of the most respected scholars and translators in Chinese literary studies. Now English readers may share in the pleasure that the lyric has afforded its Chinese aficionados for over a thousand years.

A bilingual hardcover edition is also available in the Renditions Books series.








A Golden Treasury of Chinese Poetry

Translated by John Turner
Compiled and edited by John J. Deeney
1990
xxxiv + 166 pages
ISBN 962-7255-04-1


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A highly commended anthology of classical Chinese poetry which includes verse translations of 121 poems ranging from the Zhou (11th century BC) to the Qing dynasties. Through the sensitive and learned rendering of the translator, almost the entire range of classical Chinese poetry is represented here.


'... deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone who teaches classical Chinese poetry, Chinese literature in translation, and indeed, any course on Chinese culture and civilization.'
The China Quarterly


'John Turner's meticulous and sensitive translations reveal a welcome glimpse of the beauty of traditional Chinese poetry.'
China Now








A Little Primer of Tu Fu

By David Hawkes
1987;1994
xii + 243 pages
ISBN 962-7255-02-5

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The standard introduction to the poetry of Tu Fu (712-770) regarded by many as China's greatest poet. The thirty-five poems from the well-known Chinese anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems are each accompanied by a detailed and lively explication of form, historical background and meaning. At the same time, inclusion of Chinese characters, romanization, and both literal and prose translations offer the general reader or beginning language student the rare chance to savour the poet's art first-hand.


'With the help of this excellent introduction to the poetry of Tu Fu anybody prepared to make a little effort can go directly to the Chinese and appreciate for himself something of the style and flavour of a poet who ... wrote so honestly and so well.'
The Times Literary Supplement








Silent Operas
By Li Yu
Edited by Patrick Hanan
1990;1996
xiii + 202 pages
ISBN 962-7255-07-6


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One of the most original—and controversial—figures in the history of Chinese literature, Li Yu specialized in challenging social taboos and turning traditional literary themes on their heads. The stories featured here combine the racy wit and bawdiness of the traditional oral story-teller with a very modern blend of subtlety, irony and psychological insight to create a vibrant and accessible picture of the 17th century Chinese life.

This illustrated collection is an important step in bringing the writing of Li Yu to a wider audience. Here is a compelling example of a vibrancy and insight only now being rediscovered by contemporary Chinese writers.


' Transcending formulaic themes, Li Yu makes it so that one can never read the classic Chinese folktale with quite the same respect for tradition.'

South China Morning Post




 

 
 
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