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China: A Traveler's Literary Companion
Whether revealing small-town superstitions or exposing Beijing’s underworld, these works of literary fiction offer insights to modern China and its myriad of social, cultural, and human concerns. An expansive country, China is made up of numerous ethnic groups with a dizzying array of local dialects and subcultures. In addition, China is experiencing staggering change, whi ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 28th 2008 by Whereabouts Press
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While I absolutely did enjoy all the short stories in this collection, I can certainly understand why those who have no connections to the country of China or in the least have no idea what the May Fourth cultural revolutions are, would not enjoy them. This stories, on the surface, are depressing and whiny. There is no satisfaction of a resolution at the end of any of these stories because there has been no resolution for China. To have this be titled "A Traveler's Literary Companion" is complet ...more
A threadbare collection that demonstrates just how meager China's contemporary literary canon is. Mo Yan, and to a far lesser extent, Wang Shuo, both contribute affecting contemporary stories, but the rest doesn't rise above workmanlike folk tales and plotless rumination. Not much here for anyone who isn't personally connected to the country and its writing tradition's slow, grinding, negligent evolution.
Either I don't like ANY Chinese fiction, or this was a poorly contrived anthology. With the notable exception of one short story, I found all of these stories infinitely depressing and dull. Even though I was traveling through China at the time and really enjoyed the context it provided for everything I was seeing, I'm not sure I would seek out this series again for future trips.
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