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The Beijing of Possibilitiesby Jonathan Tel
Synopses & Reviews
Blending elements of the surreal with carefully observed details of life in present-day Beijing, Jonathan Tels short stories offer a rich and highly entertaining guide to the city and its many and varied inhabitants-from a modern-day Monkey King to an equally contemporary indentured servant, from a boy tasting his first cotton candy to a Ming Dynasty princess posting her first online profile.
The stories offer a vicarious tour through modern Beijing and a long view of Chinese history. The reader flies through the book, chuckling over one characters trickery, moved by anothers plight, and horrified at anothers unwitting actions, until reaching the culminating novella, which brings the whole book and its take on China back to the Western reader with a stunning immediacy.
Americans newly minted fascination with China, stoked by the 2008 Olympics, can find both intellectual and artistic satisfaction in this collection.
About the Author
Jonathan Tel is the author of the story collection Arafats Elephant (Counterpoint, 2002) and the novel Freuds Alphabet (Counterpoint, 2003). His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and Zoetrope. He has worked as a quantum physicist and an opera librettist. While in New York he writes about Beijing, and while in Beijing about New York.
Table of Contents
YEAR OF THE GORILLA
THE BOOK OF AUSPICIOUS AND INAUSPICIOUS DREAMS
THE THREE LIVES OF LITTLE YU
SHADOW OF CANDLES FLICKERING RED
THE GLAMOROUS HEART OF COSMPOLITAN BEIJING
THE UNOFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE EMBROIDERED COUCH
THE BEIJING OF POSSIBILITIES
LOVE! DUTY! HUMANITY! VIRTUE!
RISE UPWARD TO THE BLUE CLOUDS
THE DOUBLE-HAPPINESS BALLBEARING FACTORY
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN CHINA
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