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Butcher's Wife, The (Peter Owen Modern Classic) [Paperback]

Li Ang
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 July 2002 Peter Owen Modern Classic
A young peasant is forced into an arranged marriage. 'The story never loses the reader's sympathy by descending into overkill or sentiment . . . The Butcher's Wife is mesmeric and unflinching.' - Guardian

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen; New edition edition (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 072061161X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720611618
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 12.7 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,120,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Butche's wife by Li Ang 19 Feb 2010
By Y. Hsu
I really enjoyed the translation of the butchers wife having read it in Chinese a few month back and I wanted to read it in English as a comparison. I chose this book for discussion for an international womens' book club. I thought the translation was excellent even though some of the ideas were potentially difficult to bring across. The themes and different moods of the book were well captured. A must read for anyway interested in Asian womens' writing from this period and interested to explore the link with violence, exploitation and emancipation of woman.One of the most contraversial books to have been published in Taiwan and interesting to put in historical context.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense 16 Sep 2012
By Kit Welsh - Published on Amazon.com
So this isn't exactly what I'd call a happy book. And by "this isn't exactly what I'd call a happy book," I mean it's depressing as all get out. I totally recommend it, but be warned, the book contains graphic details of rape, abuse, violence and gore. If you can't handle any of those items, I'd sit this one out.

Li Ang, the auther of the Butcher's Wife was inspired by the story real murder committed in the 1930's. According to traditional Chinese society, a woman who has killed her husband must have committed the murder due to her having committed an extramarital affair. The Butcher's Wife seeks to disprove that notion, giving us an idea of what kind of abuse might push someone to that edge.

Books like this one are important to remind us how society can fail certain people. The protagonist, Lin Shi, has absolutely zero resources available to her. She is trapped in her marriage by her ignorance and by her communities ignorance, as well as slut shamed by her neighbors for constant rape at the hands of her husband. As an American audience, it is very easy to separate ourselves from her life and say that Taiwan is oh so very far away, but the truth is, abuse happens everywhere, in a myriad of different ways. Books like this can reflect a very sad reality and point out common weaknesses everywhere. While it is an important read, I have to say, I was very glad it was a novella and not longer than it was, or I probably would not have made it all the way through. At its core, it is the portrayal of the destruction of a young woman, and as I said at the beginning, it's not exactly cheerful stuff. Excellent work, however.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well written 21 Nov 2008
By Jenny :) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This story was well written but the characters were so morbid and unusual that it left me feeling disturbed after I finished the book. You can't help but analyze and wonder about the characters and what they could have done differently and why they behaved they way they did. It also gives you a good look at Taiwanese superstitions, village culture, stereotypes, and characteristics of the time period. It's a very interesting and strange story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 6 Nov 2012
By Dirk Kraaijenbos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A true story, very brutal and vivid, strong personalities in difficult times, I really liked it a lot and will read it again.
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