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Nanjing 1937: A Love Story
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Nanjing 1937: A Love Story

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Set on the eve of the Rape of Nanjing -- when Japanese troops invaded the historic capital city, massacred hundreds of thousands, and committed thousands of rapes -- "Nanjing 1937" is a tender and humorous story of an impossible love and a lively, detailed historical portrait of a culture on the verge of rupture.

The novel centers on the life of Ding Wenyu, a privileged, wo
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published December 18th 2002 by Columbia University Press (first published 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 157)
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I bought this book for the cover, more than anything. (Not the one pictured on Goodreads, but a very artistic colored-pencil looking yellow and red image)

Happily, I found the book as intriguing as the cover. It's an unusual love story, and the tale is tied around historical events which I'm not familiar with, but I was able to follow along both because of the notations, and because the love story takes place in spite of (not from dependence on) the events of the times.

The translation makes the w
Nik Morton
Ding Wenyu, almost forty, is married and a womaniser; he’s a college professor proficient in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Romanian; his ‘legendary’ language abilities come in useful from time to time. When in his late teens he was banished to France as a result of a misguided pursuit of a young woman. In Paris he crossed paths with Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov and Jorge Luis Borges, among others. Indeed, the book is deliberately scattered with name-dropping, notably the hi ...more
This was the second time i tried reading this book and i liked it better this time round and managed to finish it. The main character Ding wasn't so easy to like, but i think there was a nice correlation between the rise in romantic intensity to the approach of the Nanjin massacre. The book did end a bit too abruptly, but at least the character was more likeable by that point than before.
This book was great, a little long-winded, but i think it was supposed to capture the character of Ding. A superb read for infomation about the japanese advance in china.
story of China during the war portrayed through a love story
I am left with a bland aftertaste. As with most novels I have read by Chinese authors, I find the beginnings well-written and promising, but the middle drags on for all eternity and the ending is left open. The novel's translator, Michael Berry helped me to understand the author's intention a little more when he wrote: "The year 1937 saw not only the fall of the ancient capital of Nanjing but also the pinnacle of its development; in his novel, Ye Zhaoyan captures both. And although the novel com ...more
This book takes place in Nanjing the year leading up to the infamous massacre by the Japanese in 1937. The story is about Ding Wenyu, a womanizing professor of foreign languages. He is a immensely popular professor who does not abide by any rule of either etiquette or common sense. He is invited to the wedding of one of his colleague's and falls head over heels in love with the bride, Ren Yuyuan. He starts by sending daily love letters to her. She at first is embarrassed and does not know how to ...more
Kathy Chung
I thought this book would be tedious to read ..must be about suffering of two lovees in a war torn era. Why did I buy it? Well...coz it's just rm5 and a great bargain. I might like the book.

Anyway..just finished reading it last night. Was surprised. Its not about the war at all. Its about yhe lovesick Ding Wenyu. He is like
The chinese casanova , uncle oswald and Charlie Chaplin muxed together.

It was hilarious to read all the trouble he went through to win the heart of his beloved.

Would hv give
Ye Zhaoyan's sense of irony juxtaposed against the backdrop of one of China's most tragic periods in modern history brings laughter and tears to this touching love story. If you're well-versed in Chinese history, you'll love the references to all the heavy hitters in 20th century Chinese politics (with the exception of the Chairman himself). And if you're new to Chinese history, you'll enjoy the story while learning a little about the making of modern China. One of the best novels I've read abou ...more
Amanda Patterson
Though this novel is easy to read. It's not for everyone. You may like it if you're obsessed with Chinese history and literature. You may like it if you like armchair travel, and want to experience what Nanjing was really like in 1937. You'll like it if you like a quirky love story and raunchy sex scenes.
Paige White
i love how this novel draws parallels between the love story and what was happening politically between Japan and China.
Tried hard to get into this but it focused too much on the politcal and historical aspects of China rather than the story.
This book bored me, but at the same time I couldn't put it down. So, there must be something special about it...
Khai Pin
A great book though it shows some explicit descriptions!
Katrina marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2015
Andrew Domingo
Andrew Domingo marked it as to-read
Nov 02, 2014
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Jul 25, 2014
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Casea Peterson marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2014
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