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Love in a Fallen City: And Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 6 Dec 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1 edition (6 Dec. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141189363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141189369
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Eileen Chang (1920-1995) was born into an aristocratic family in Shanghai. 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. The rise of Communist influence made it increasingly difficult for Chang to continue living in Shanghai; she moved to Hong Kong in 1952, then emigrated to the United States three years later. 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. Eileen Chang was found dead in her Los Angeles apartment in September 1995.

Karen S. Kingsbury has lived in Chinese-speaking cities for nearly two decades. She taught English in Chonquing on the Whitman-in-China program, studied Chinese in Taipei and, for fourteen years, taught English language and literature at Tunghai University in Taichung. Her Columbia University doctoral dissertation was on Eileen Chang, and she has published previous translations of Chang's essays and fiction in Renditions and in The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature. She lives in Seattle.


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First Sentence
GO AND fetch, will you please, a copper incense brazier, a family heirloom gorgeously encrusted now with moldy green, and light in it some pungent chips of aloeswood. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. WALLACE on 26 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
Eileen Chang's stories were recommended to me by a Chinese friend. I found these very, very different to the type of writing by contemporary Chinese authors that I was familar with (novels and stories either in translation, or by Chinese writers living in the English-speaking world and writing in English). At first I found them difficult reading. The different narrative style and the cultural knowledge they assumed, were too alien for them to be an easy read for me. But the more I persevered, the more I appreciated them, and I will probably re-read all the stories. There is an understated quality, an indirectness, which makes you work hard as a reader at times, but which makes each story memorable. The range and depth of the characters and relationships in each story meant that in the end I found the whole collection of stories a very satisfying read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kritz on 11 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I came to this stunning collection of short stories from a route founded solidly in movies - when Ang Lee's Lust Caution came along & I discovered it was originally a short story I was more than intrigued. I went for this collection rather than the predictable choice of the original of the film and am very glad I did and have now read a number of her works. Chang writes with such brevity and grace but still packs a punch. The intense lives and emotions of her characters are summed up in a very carefully crafted manner and one sentence unlocks a whole world in a moment which, to me, sets it apart from other fiction I have recently read. The first couple of stories take a while to to get used simply to due to her different style but that soon settles to become to my mind an outstanding body of work. I admit I do sometimes struggle to recall some of the exact story lines but the worlds she evokes have stayed firmly embedded in my mind. Give it a go... I don't think you will be disappointed.
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By Kublai on 10 April 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some beautiful writing, but a sad view of life and love. The characters are all trapped in Chinese culture; men and women can only think of how to use each other and there is no true love. The stories do give insight into how Confucianism and Chinese culture bound people into stifling family roles - and how Chinese culture still does today, simply with a Communist slant. However, they present an empty view of life, which ultimately offers little. A talented writer who lacked a real vision of love.
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