Copper House Press
Short story collection
Clean tight and bright Minor cover wear Small fold on front upper corner
SIGNED BY AUTHOR
In this first collection of 11 linked stories, the intimate drama of one traditional Chinese family plays against the larger backdrop of the Cultural Revolution. Wang's determined, intelligent heroine, Seaweed, is the eldest daughter of a naval officer and a schoolteacher living near Shanghai. The family drudge at home, Seaweed's hardships continue in a rural village where she undergoes "re-education" by peasants as a prerequisite for college. Years later, after emigrating to New York, she tries to send for her sisters, to get them American visas. "The Story of Ju" is a gripping, longer tale of how Seaweed's promising student hangs herself rather than submit to a marriage arranged by her abusive stepfather. "Song of Four Seasons" is a generous-spirited story of a mother and daughter revising their opinions of one another after many years. Although these are universal themes of sibling rivalry, mother-daughter conflict and love, the dilemma of an intelligent woman with limited opportunities, matchmaking, adultery, bodily shame, they are also distinctively Chinese, drawing on Chinese legends, language and customs. Wang, who holds degrees from both Chinese and American universities, writes simply in a conversational English that is remarkably effective whether she is writing about life in China or in New York.