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The Lost Garden

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In this eloquent and atmospheric novel, Li Ang further cements her reputation as one of our most sophisticated contemporary Chinese-language writers. "The Lost Garden" moves along two parallel lines. In one, we relive the family saga of Zhu Yinghong, whose father, Zhu Zuyan, was a gentry intellectual imprisoned for dissent in the early days of Chiang Kai-shek's rule. After ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Columbia University Press (first published November 24th 1991)
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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  27 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was born in the last year of the First Sino-Japanese War.

The story is a woven recollection by Zhu Yinghong of both her life and the legacy of her father, Zhu Zuyan. Set simulatanesouly in the 1970- 80s and thirty years earlier, it weaves back and forth creating a tapestry of nostalgia. A mourning shroud of the White Terror and its fallout.

What I did was never the issue. Ayako, you must keep in mind that throughout the course of human history, knowledge has repeatedly gotten people into tro
Kelsi H
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Please check out all of my reviews at!

The Lost Garden follows two parallel story lines that enhance one another in their description of both the political and the personal in Taiwan. The first follows the childhood of Zhu Yinghong, whose father was imprisoned by Chiang Kai-Shek’s regime for his intellectual dissent. When he is eventually released from prison, he retreats into his Lotus Garden, built to his exacting desires. The second story line takes place in
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What a beautiful book!

A story of falling terribly in love and then becoming disenchanted, it's also the story of the magnificent garden that surrounds Zhu Yinghong and her family.

The book evolves around two different story lines: One regarding Yinghong's father, his political arrest and imprisonment and the return to his family home and the garden. The other takes place many years later, and regards Yinghong and her love affair wit
Although I spent so much of my life at Lotus Garden, it was only recently that I was deeply moved by the many wondrous scenes, a result of learning to observe the garden in its minute details. The world is filled with boundless mysteries and wonder; everything is possible and nothing is tenable.”

I really need to start writing down how I come across certain books. I can’t remember the exact details for this one, possibly that it came from a list of books in translation written by women. I definit
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fun, weirdly erotic feminist novel that connects gardens to vaginas to Taiwanese nationalism.
Kurt Kemmerer
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Slightly uneven, but mostly wonderful. The novel transports the reader to a Taiwan of many ages, with beautiful, subtle overlapping stories, all including one magnificently complex heroine.
Sarah loves books 😻😻😻
⭐⭐⭐ ...more
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
The Lost Garden is a beautiful novel set in Taiwan. It covers multiple themes, mainly of love, sex, capitalism, as well as ethnic identity.
I choose this book as I wanted something different from what I normally read.
I was not disappointed, in that it introduced me to a beautiful setting, that I kew nothing about.
Zhu Yinghong is the main character and the story recounts her family saga which threads its way throughout the book. She comes from a privileged family.
I did find this book took me long
Tammy Wooding
Aug 05, 2016 marked it as books-i-have
Li Ang, the pen name of Shih Shu-tuan, is also the author of the award-winning The Butcher’s Wife. A prolific writer and astute social critic, she was honored by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication with its Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres award, and a modern dance based on her short story was shortlisted for Der Faust Prize. Sylvia Li-chun Lin, formerly associate professor of Chinese at the University of Notre Dame, translates contemporary Chinese fiction from Taiwan an ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stellar writing that challenges sociocultural norms of womanhood and modernization.
World Literature Today
This book was featured in the Nota Benes section of the May/Aug 2016 issue of World Literature Today Magazine.
Dec 02, 2015 marked it as to-read
Reviewed by The Complete Review

Available in Chinese here
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Li Ang (李昂; real name Shih Shu-tuan with Li Ang being her pen name) (born April 7, 1952, in Lukang, Taiwan) is a Taiwanese feminist writer. After graduating from Chinese Culture University with a degree in philosophy, she studied drama at the University of Oregon, after which she returned to teach at her alma mater. Her major work is The Butcher's Wife (殺夫: 1983, tr. 1986), though she has a copiou ...more