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Love in a Fallen City (New York Review Books Classics)

by

Love in a Fallen City (New York Review Books Classics) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Eileen Chang was born in China and died in Los Angeles, living most of her life as an obscure, impoverished, and reclusive exile. She ran away from a troubled family to lead the bohemian life of a writer, and in the late Thirties and Forties her stories about Shanghai and Hong Kong transformed Chinese literature.

Chang said her goal was to describe "the little things that happen between men and women," and she did this in a way that was at once subtle, up-to-date, psychologically fraught, unsentimental, and full of richly suggestive imagery. She is now recognized as one of China's great writers not only by a few critics and academics, but by a vast and passionate public. Love in a Fallen City is the first English-language publication to present a full selection of this haunting writer's novellas, the heart of her achievement.

These are stories of seduction and betrayal, hypocrisy, cruelty, and frustration: a girl falls for a cad who she knows does not love her; a young man is driven to an act of terrible and yet futile violence by his father's abuse and his own dark desires; a woman draws on the ever-diminishing credit of her good reputation in an attempt to snare an indifferent man; a couple's accidental meeting in a besieged city leads to the discovery that true love is a matter of expediency, not passion. "The Story of the Golden Cangue," here in Eileen Chang's own celebrated translation, offers a portrait of an aggrieved wife whose relentless pursuit of vengeance — on her husband, her children, and above all herself — turns her into one of the most terrifyingand pitiful monsters in modern fiction.

In Love in a Fallen City American readers will discover the wrenching and glamorous vision of a twentieth-century master.

Review:

"Chang died in 1995 in Los Angeles, having emigrated to the U.S. in 1955 at 35. These six stories, most available in English for the first time, were published to acclaim in China and Hong Kong in the '40s; they explore, bewitchingly, the myriad ways love overcomes (or doesn't) the intense social constraints of time and place. In the compact 'Sealed Off,' Shanghai briefly shuts down in defense against a blockade, and strangers on a tram allow their inner yearnings to surface, with consequences at once momentous and static. In the layered title story, a couple taunt each other with false estrangements as they fall in love, then are forced to confront one another directly through wartime privations. The startling novella The Golden Cangue, told with upstairs-downstairs shifts in perspective, fugues around a wife, resentful of her disabled husband and reviled by his family, who seeks reassurance in opium. In these eloquent tragedies, Chang plunges readers in medias res. She expertly burdens her characters with failed dreams and stifled possibilities, leads them to push aside the heavy curtains of family and convention, and then shows them a yawning emptiness. Their different responses are brilliantly underplayed and fascinating." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Chang died in 1995 in Los Angeles, having emigrated to the U.S. in 1955 at 35. These six stories, most available in English for the first time, were published to acclaim in China and Hong Kong in the '40s; they explore, bewitchingly, the myriad ways love overcomes (or doesn't) the intense social constraints of time and place. In the compact 'Sealed Off,' Shanghai briefly shuts down in defense against a blockade, and strangers on a tram allow their inner yearnings to surface, with consequences at once momentous and static. In the layered title story, a couple taunt each other with false estrangements as they fall in love, then are forced to confront one another directly through wartime privations. The startling novella 'The Golden Cangue,' told with upstairs-downstairs shifts in perspective, fugues around a wife, resentful of her disabled husband and reviled by his family, who seeks reassurance in opium. In these eloquent tragedies, Chang plunges readers in medias res. She expertly burdens her characters with failed dreams and stifled possibilities, leads them to push aside the heavy curtains of family and convention, and then shows them a yawning emptiness. Their different responses are brilliantly underplayed and fascinating." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] giant of modern Chinese literature." New York Times

Review:

"Chang's writing realistically captures the human heart and confronts the trappings of cultural expectations." Library Journal

Review:

"A major rediscovery." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

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 Changs 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.

About the Author

Eileen Chang (1920-1995) is a legendary figure in Chinese literature and the author of the essay collection Written on Water (Columbia, 2005) and the novels The Rogue of the North and The Rice-Sprout Song: A Novel of Modern China.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590171783
Author:
Chang, Eileen
Publisher:
New York Review of Books
Translator:
Kinsbury, Karen
Translator:
Kingsbury, Karen S.
Translator:
Kingsbury, Karen
Author:
Various
Author:
Zhang, Ailing
Author:
Kingsbury, Karen S.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Asian - General
Subject:
United States - Northeast - Middle Atlantic (General)
Subject:
Zhang, Ailing
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
New York Review Books Classics
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.98x5.14x.69 in. .74 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles

Love in a Fallen City (New York Review Books Classics) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages New York Review of Books - English 9781590171783 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Chang died in 1995 in Los Angeles, having emigrated to the U.S. in 1955 at 35. These six stories, most available in English for the first time, were published to acclaim in China and Hong Kong in the '40s; they explore, bewitchingly, the myriad ways love overcomes (or doesn't) the intense social constraints of time and place. In the compact 'Sealed Off,' Shanghai briefly shuts down in defense against a blockade, and strangers on a tram allow their inner yearnings to surface, with consequences at once momentous and static. In the layered title story, a couple taunt each other with false estrangements as they fall in love, then are forced to confront one another directly through wartime privations. The startling novella The Golden Cangue, told with upstairs-downstairs shifts in perspective, fugues around a wife, resentful of her disabled husband and reviled by his family, who seeks reassurance in opium. In these eloquent tragedies, Chang plunges readers in medias res. She expertly burdens her characters with failed dreams and stifled possibilities, leads them to push aside the heavy curtains of family and convention, and then shows them a yawning emptiness. Their different responses are brilliantly underplayed and fascinating." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Chang died in 1995 in Los Angeles, having emigrated to the U.S. in 1955 at 35. These six stories, most available in English for the first time, were published to acclaim in China and Hong Kong in the '40s; they explore, bewitchingly, the myriad ways love overcomes (or doesn't) the intense social constraints of time and place. In the compact 'Sealed Off,' Shanghai briefly shuts down in defense against a blockade, and strangers on a tram allow their inner yearnings to surface, with consequences at once momentous and static. In the layered title story, a couple taunt each other with false estrangements as they fall in love, then are forced to confront one another directly through wartime privations. The startling novella 'The Golden Cangue,' told with upstairs-downstairs shifts in perspective, fugues around a wife, resentful of her disabled husband and reviled by his family, who seeks reassurance in opium. In these eloquent tragedies, Chang plunges readers in medias res. She expertly burdens her characters with failed dreams and stifled possibilities, leads them to push aside the heavy curtains of family and convention, and then shows them a yawning emptiness. Their different responses are brilliantly underplayed and fascinating." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] giant of modern Chinese literature."
"Review" by , "Chang's writing realistically captures the human heart and confronts the trappings of cultural expectations."
"Review" by , "A major rediscovery."
"Synopsis" by , 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 Changs 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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