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Other titles in the Weatherhead Books on Asia series:
Loud Sparrows: Contemporary Chinese Short-Shorts (Weatherhead Books on Asia)by Aili Mu
Synopses & Reviews
Extremely short stories-known as short-shorts-have become a global phenomenon, but nowhere have they been embraced as enthusiastically as in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The form's artistic and aesthetic freedoms allow authors to capture the tone, texture, and chaos of their rapidly changing societies in infinitely inventive ways. Fragments and contingencies reveal unofficial histories, undocumented memories, and the trials of everyday individuals, and the genre's lean format is a welcome antidote to a culture characterized by rampant excess.<P> "Loud Sparrows" is a spirited collection of ninety-one short-shorts written by Chinese authors over the past three decades. Presenting diverse voices and perspectives by writers both well known and new to the art, the stories are culled from newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and personal collections. Their subjects range from the mundane to the sublime and illuminate everything from humanist ideals to traditional virtues to the material benefits of a commercialized society. The anthology is organized into thematic categories such as Change, Creatures, (In)fidelities, Grooming, Governance, Nourishment, and Weirdness, and includes notes to better understand the genre. Each sections is introduced by an original piece of flash fiction written by Howard Goldblatt.<P>The short-short, to borrow a Chinese saying, is "small as a sparrow but has all the vital organs" of a good story. "Loud Sparrows" offers a comprehensive introduction to a unique literary genre that has revolutionized world literature.
Short-shorts have become a global phenomenon, but nowhere have they been embraced as enthusiastically as in contemporary China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Authors have used the form's artistic and aesthetic freedoms to great effect, capturing the tone, texture, and chaos of these rapidly changing societies in infinitely inventive ways. No longer concerned with authorial exposition, writers are able to use fragments and contingencies to reveal unofficial histories, undocumented memories, and the trials of everyday individuals.
This anthology brings together ninety-one short-shorts by authors who are both well known and new to the art, therefore guaranteeing a range of diverse voices and perspectives. The collection is organized into thematic categories such as Change, Creatures, (In)fidelities, and Weirdness, and includes the writers' notes on the genre. The first anthology of its kind, Loud Sparrows offers not only a comprehensive introduction to this popular postmodern style but also an unusual look at these modernizing societies.
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