sexta-feira, 30 de dezembro de 2016

Love in a Fallen City Eileen Chang, translated from the Chinese by Karen S. Kingsbury and Eileen Chang



Love in a Fallen City

Eileen Chang, translated from the Chinese by Karen S. Kingsbury and Eileen Chang



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.

Quotes

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 who could see on both sides of that divide, into which her heroines so often disappeared. Eileen Chang 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

One of the most popular Chinese writers of the 20th century and a woman who made a major contribution to the cultural life of Shanghai.
Shanghai Daily

This posthumous collection contains six vibrant stories that depict life in post-WW II China…Evocative and vivid, Chang’s stories bristle with equal parts passion and resentment.
Booklist

Eileen Chang is no doubt the most talented woman writer in 20th century China.
— David Der—wei Wang, Harvard University

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 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

About the authors

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.

http://www.nybooks.com/books/imprints/classics/love-in-a-fallen-city/
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