ISBN-10:
1681372444
ISBN-13:
9781681372440
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Love in a Fallen City

Love in a Fallen City

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Overview

Masterful short works about passion, family, and human relationships by one of the greatest writers of 20th century China. 

A New York Review Books Original


“[A] giant of modern Chinese literature” The New York Times

"With language as sharp as a knife edge, Eileen Chang cut open a huge divide in Chinese culture, between the classical patriarchy and our troubled modernity. She was one of the very few able truly to connect that divide, just as her heroines often disappeared inside it. She is the fallen angel of Chinese literature, and now, with these excellent new translations, English readers can discover why she is so revered by Chinese readers everywhere." Ang Lee

Eileen Chang is one of the great writers of twentieth-century China, where she enjoys a passionate following both on the mainland and in Taiwan. At the heart of Chang’s achievement is her short fiction—tales of love, longing, and the shifting and endlessly treacherous shoals of family life. Written when Chang was still in her twenties, these extraordinary stories combine an unsettled, probing, utterly contemporary sensibility, keenly alert to sexual politics and psychological ambiguity, with an intense lyricism that echoes the classics of Chinese literature. Love in a Fallen City, the first collection in English of this dazzling body of work, introduces American readers to the stark and glamorous vision of a modern master.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681372440
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 06/21/2017
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Eileen Chang (1920–1995) was born into an aristocratic family in Shanghai. Her father, deeply traditional in his ways, was an opium addict; her mother, partly educated in England, was a sophisticated woman of cosmopolitan tastes. Their unhappy marriage ended in divorce, and Chang eventually ran away from her father—who had beaten her for defying her stepmother, then locked her in her room for nearly half a year. Chang studied literature at the University of Hong Kong, but the Japanese attack on the city in 1941 forced her to return to occupied Shanghai, where she was able to publish the stories and essays (collected in two volumes, Romances, 1944, and Written on Water, 1945) that soon made her a literary star. In 1944 Chang married Hu Lan-ch’eng, a Japanese sympathizer whose sexual infidelities led to their divorce three years later. The rise of Communist influence made it increasingly difficult for Chang to continue living in Shanghai; she moved to Hong Kong in 1952, then immigrated to the United States three years later. She remarried (an American, Ferdinand Reyher, who died in 1967) and held various posts as writer-in-residence; in 1969 she obtained a more permanent position as a researcher at Berkeley. Two novels, both commissioned in the 1950s by the United States Information Service as anti-Communist propaganda, The Rice-Sprout Song (1955) and Naked Earth (1956), were followed by a third, The Rouge of the North (1967), which expanded on her celebrated early novella, “The Golden Cangue.” Chang continued writing essays and stories in Chinese and scripts for Hong Kong films, and began work on an English translation of the famous Ch’ing novel The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai. In spite of the tremendous revival of interest in her work that began in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 1970s, and that later spread to mainland China, Chang became ever more reclusive as she grew older. She was found dead in her Los Angeles apartment in September 1995. In 2006 NYRB Classics published a collection of Chang’s stories, Love in a Fallen City, and in 2007, a film adaptation of her novella Lust, Caution, directed by Ang Lee, was released.

Karen S. Kingsbury taught English in Chonqing on the Whitman-in-China program, studied Chinese in Taipei and, for fourteen years, taught English language and literature at Tunghai University in Taichung. Her Columbia University doctoral dissertation was on Eileen Chang, and she has published previous translations of Chang’s essays and fiction in Renditions and The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature. She also translated Eileen Chang's Half a Lifelong Romance. She is currently a professor of International Studies at Chatham University.

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