Worlds of Modern Chinese Fiction: Short Stories and Novellas from the People's Republic, Taiwan, and Hong Kong

Michael S. Duke, Editor M.E. Sharpe $24.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-87332-757-2
The 25 stories and novellas in this collection are disappointing. This may be due in part to the different levels of skill among the translators. In ``A Wordless Monument,'' a story about the effects of the Cultural Revolution on a mainland village, the Chinese narrator sounds like an American cowboy when he says of the unreadable words on an official's gravestone, ``Could we eat 'em or drink 'em or make revolution with 'em?'' Indeed, although these writings convincingly evoke China's recent turbulent history, as well as conflicts between generations with diverging social values, many seem like awkward imitations of Western literature. Two stories, ``Mother Lode'' and ``Dazzling Poma,'' are examples of the genre known as Chinese westerns. The pieces that are more Oriental in tone ring truer and fresher, but their pace is sometimes slowed by political rhetoric. Finally, though several stories have humorous moments--``The General's Monument'' tells of a nationalist leader who ``secretly attends his own funeral'' and discovers he is more popular dead than alive--none are strong enough to fully engage readers. Duke is the author of The Iron House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-87332-758-9
Ebook - 360 pages - 978-1-317-45144-0
Open Ebook - 360 pages - 978-1-317-45146-4
Open Ebook - 360 pages - 978-1-317-45145-7
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