The Gourmet and Other Stories of Modern China

Wenfu Lu, Author Readers International $16.95 (243p) ISBN 978-0-930523-38-1
Most of the stories in this collection at least touch upon China's wrenching anti-Rightist campaigns of the '50s, '60s and '70s, if not have them as a central subject. The novella-length title story is suffused with exquisite irony: the errand boy of a rich gourmet becomes a restaurant manager after the revolution, then in today's new political climate finds that his former master's gluttony, which he reviles, is indispensable to his business. ""The Boundary Wall'' is a quietly hilarious piece about the huffery and puffery that occurs when a committee sets out to accomplish a project. ``Graduation,'' the only story not told in a distinctly male voice, is a vivid, immediate and poignant tale about an old woman's unwillingness to relinquish the ties to her past, painful as it was. ``World of Dreams, a Valediction,'' is a poetic, almost ethereal, evocation of Lu's home city. Readers around the world will be glad that a voice of this caliber has been allowed to speak again. (January)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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