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Old Land, New Tales: Twenty Short Stories by Writers of the Shaanxi Region in China
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Old Land, New Tales: Twenty Short Stories by Writers of the Shaanxi Region in China

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3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  18 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In this captivating collection from the Shaanxi region, considered the cradle of Chinese civilization, twenty disparate and unique voices come together to show a China caught between new-world advancements and old-world traditions. From the homeland of China’s first dynasty and the world-famous terra-cotta warriors, these tales show rugged rural life colliding with ...more
Paperback, 440 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by AmazonCrossing
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Lori
Aug 10, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I was a goodreads first reads winner of the book " Old Land New Tales;Twenty Short Stories by Writers of the Shaanxi Region in China. this was a great book of short stories. there are many talented writers who contributed to this well done book. I liked some better than others. I liked "the Walking Stick" a younger man meets an elderly man who is using a walking stick. the older man talks of his life to the younger man. now the younger man looks back because he is now older.one of my favorite ...more
Nancy
Feb 17, 2015 Nancy rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-book
I won this through the Goodreads Giveaway.

Having read a significant number of books about China, the vast majority being non-fiction, I was curious about this book of short stories.

There are several issues here that contribute to the rating:
1) the majority of the authors have survived through the cultural revolution, some who may well have been sent into the country-side and whose education may have been impacted; but their "success" during the cultural revolution itself would suggest a degree o
...more
Anne Gardner
Aug 05, 2016 Anne Gardner rated it liked it
There is no way to characterize this collection as a whole. Some stories were poignant; others felt flat and forced. Everything had an unfamiliar taste, in a way I have not encountered before. I have read world literature fairly extensively and I have never felt as alien as a reader. I wanted to like these. I waited for something to happen, some sense of knowing, some message. Sadness settled like a perpetual fog. And perhaps that is the message.
Shirley
Nov 02, 2014 Shirley rated it liked it
The stories opened my eyes to Chinese history and culture.

"Elder Sister" (p. 5) A twenty-seven-year-old unmarried woman living in her parents' home was considered a disgrace in Chinese culture.

"My Dear Sister! Limin was such a rotten piece of meat that even a fly wouldn't take a second look. While everyone shunned him like a plague, you fell in love with him." (p. 10) What a sad tale reflecting human frailty and the impact of culture.

"A Tale of Li Shisan and the Millstone" During China's Cultura
...more
Angel Serpentine
Mar 18, 2016 Angel Serpentine rated it it was amazing
I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

I'll note that I come from a Chinese family and have a firm understanding of the language, and I believe, the culture, albeit a preserved version of traditional ideals and customs more so than modern day adaptations. So it is supremely fascinating to read these stories translated to English and covering such a wide range of topics. In particular, seeing the impact of history on how a writer's sentiments and overall outlook on life, is a pe
...more
Janet Ursel
Sep 23, 2014 Janet Ursel rated it liked it
As a fascinating glimpse into Chinese culture and mindsets, I would recommend this collection to anyone with a taste for the exotic. The stories here are set in different historic time periods, from two or three centuries ago, up to the present. One thing that struck me rather strongly was the enduring sexism that was so evident both in the stories and in the choice of authors: only three of the twenty are women. It came as no surprise that they were among the strongest stories – they pretty ...more
Tony Laplume
Sep 03, 2014 Tony Laplume rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always have a hard time making it all the way through short story collections, whether by single or multiple contributors. When I say I sometimes struggled through Old Land, New Tales, this is not solely a judgment on this particular one, then.

On the whole, I enjoyed it. (Clearly. Star rating and all.) A short breakdown in the most succinct terms possible:

"Elder Sister" 3 stars

"A Tale of Li Shisan and the Millstone" 4 stars

"The Country Wife" 4 stars

"Oh, a Colt!" 4 stars

"The Walking Stick" 5 st
...more
Claire
Aug 10, 2014 Claire rated it really liked it
I received Old Land, New Tales as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Through 20 short stories by acclaimed Chinese authors, Westerners get a glimpse of the ancient traditions and modern social/political systems that has made the country what it is today. Tales explore a full range of human relationships, including marriage, parenthood, friendship, and forbidden love.

Though the stories only average about 20 pages, they pack a lot of punch. The characters are beautifully drawn and manage to impact the r
...more
Julie
Sep 15, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I received a free copy of Old Land, New Tales via a Goodreads giveaway. I extend my thanks for the opportunity provided by the Goodreads giveaway.

I like that the book included a brief bio for each author. They are all impressively credentialed, and gifted writers. If you would like to learn something about the Shaanxi region of China, I think this is a must read. The writing is excellent, and each story has at least one unique facet about the Shaanxi culture.
Samantha
Aug 10, 2014 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book through the Goodreads first reads program. I have not finished reading it yet and will update my review as soon as I do. I do enjoy the fact that I am reading a book with Chinese writers and getting a different perspective on life through these stories. it is a book, I would not buy for myself, and I am glad I have the chance to broaden my horizons.
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