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Five Spice Street

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Five Spice Street tells the story of a street in an unnamed city whose inhabitants speculate on the life of a mysterious Madam X. The novel interweaves their endless suppositions into a work that is at once political parable and surreal fantasia. Some think X is 50 years old; others that she is 22. Some believe she has occult powers and has thereby enslaved the young men of the street; others think she is a clever trickster playing mind games with the common people. Who is Madam X? How has she brought the good people of Five Spice Street to their knees either in worship or in exasperation? The unknown narrator takes no sides in the endlessinterplay of visions, arguments, and opinions. The investigation rages, as the street becomes a Walpurgisnacht of speculations, fantasies, and prejudices. Madam X is a vehicle whereby the people bare their souls, through whom they reveal themselves even as they try to penetrate the mystery of her extraordinary powers.

Five Spice Street is one of the most astonishing novels of the past twenty years. Exploring the collective consciousness of this little street of ordinary people, Can Xue penetrates the deepest existential anxieties of the present day—whether in China or in the West—where the inevitable impermanence of identity struggles with the narrative within which identity must compose itself.

Synopsis:

Five Spice Street tells the story of a street in an unnamed city whose inhabitants speculate on the life of a mysterious Madam X. The novel interweaves their endless suppositions into a work that is at

About the Author

Can Xue, meaning "dirty snow, leftover snow," is the pseudonym of Deng Xiaohua (b.1953), author of many novels and short works of fiction in Chinese. Her publications in English include Dialogues in Paradise (short stories), Old Floating Cloud (two novellas), The Embroidered Shoes (short stories), and most recently Blue Light in the Sky and Other Stories. Formerly a tailor, Can Xue began to write fiction in 1983, publishing her first works in 1985. She lives in Beijing.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300142488
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Subject:
Language Arts & Disciplines : General
Translator:
Gernant, Karen
Translator:
Chen, Zeping
Translator:
Gernant, B06 Karen
Author:
Xue, Can
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Subject:
Fiction : Literary
Publication Date:
March 2009
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English
Pages:
352

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
Reference » Words Phrases and Language

Five Spice Street
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Product details 352 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300142488 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Five Spice Street tells the story of a street in an unnamed city whose inhabitants speculate on the life of a mysterious Madam X. The novel interweaves their endless suppositions into a work that is at
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