Claire's Reviews > The Vintage Book of Contemporary Chinese Fiction

The Vintage Book of Contemporary Chinese Fiction by David Su Li-Qun
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's review
Feb 01, 2010

it was amazing
Read in February, 2010

This is the best collection of short stories I've ever read. The book is literally one of a kind - the only English collection of contemporary Chinese short stories ever published. Imagine choosing the 20 best American stories from the past 50 years and introducing them to a new, totally ignorant audience. China is a BIG country and these stories span many years and styles and big events in Chinese history. Usually, I prefer simple kinds of everyday life stories to big, sweeping life and death and undying love kinds of stories, but many of the stories here beautifully combine both the BIG and the small. "Between Life and Death," maybe my favorite, is about the unconventional marriage of a mortician and an obstetrician while also addressing the marriage of life and death themselves. Stories like this seem like they could be heavy-handed and cliched, but they're quite the opposite. They're graceful and thought-provoking. Granted, not all the stories were AMAZING, but enough were to warrant the 5-star rating. I rarely want to read books more than once, but I'm definitely holding onto this slim yet content-packed volume for future readings.

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01/31/2010 page 182
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