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Advanced Reader of Contemporary Chinese Short Stories: Reflections on Humanity (Paperback)

Advanced Reader of Contemporary Chinese Short Stories: Reflections on Humanity (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Ying Wang
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Reader
Level: Advanced
List Price: $27.5

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Detailed information
Editorial Reviews
Shuhui Yang, Bates College
"The stories, all published after 1990, reflect the zeitgeist of contemporary China."

Book Description
This reader for advanced students of Chinese presents ten post-1990 short stories by prominent writers such as Su Tong and Yu Hua, whose novels Raise the Red Lantern and To Live served as the basis for internationally acclaimed films. With its captivating content dealing with current social issues, it fills a gap in the literature for advanced language students who are eager to read extensively in "real" literature. Vocabulary lists free the student from the chore of constantly consulting a dictionary while reading, grammar and usage examples highlight new patterns, and questions for discussion explore the literary content. This all-fiction collection of contemporary works can be used as a text in language or literature courses or can be read independently.

About the Author
Ying Wang, assistant professor of Chinese at Mount Holyoke College, is a coeditor of Literature and Society: Advanced Reader of Modern Chinese. Carrie E. Reed, associate professor of Chinese at Middlebury College, is a coauthor of Xioyun Hnyu / Speaking Chinese on Campus: A Textbook for Intermediate Chinese Courses.

Product Details
  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press; Bilingual edition (February 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0295983655
  • Product Dimensions: 11.0 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 2 reviews.

Customer Reviews

A great book but..., January 12, 2006
Reviewer: AndrejS (Slovenia)

I don't like some of the stories being "tampered with": the authors have abridged some of the longer stories and made changes in wording. This may be OK for the target audience (students) but I would still prefer to enjoy these stories in their original form...


18 of 18 people found the following review helpful:

In incredible source for advanced students of Chinese, April 9, 2004

Reviewer: Austin M. Kramer "Rouge Scholar" (Seattle, Wa, USA)

This is a worthwhile book for any student of Chinese because if fills several important gaps in the materials currently available for Chinese students.

Of these gaps, the greatest is that no single source provides a good sampling of truly modern Chinese writers. Most Chinse Readers are composed of fiction pieces drawn from the Grandfathers of Chinese fiction, like Lao She, Lu Xun, Xu Zhimo, and Zhu Ziqing. These are all great writers, but most of them were dead before I was born, and wrote most prolificaly in the 1930s.

On the other hand, for those who are interested in currently poplular authors, and contemporary Chinese culture and language, it can be hard to find materials.

This book provides these materials in several key ways:

1. There are 10 different authors in this book, who are all current (all the stories are post-1990) and who write in very different styles. This way, with one book, you can get to know a number of writers, and learn what you like and what you don't in modern Chinese literature. (This is an important step in finding more books to read in Chinese)

2. The book is in Jianti Zi. If you are like me, and live on the west coast, Chinese books aren't hard to find, but they are almost universaly from Taiwan or Xiang Gang, and as a result are all published in Fanti Zi. Nothing against that, but American students should realize that you don't pick one or the other. Most college educated Chinese (or Taiwanese) can read both, and I think it realy is important to be familiar with both ways of writting. Thus, this can help balance the distribution of Traditional to Simplified texts.

3. This book is largely uncensored and casual. Thus, it provides a usefull context for understanding many of the verbal mannerisms and coarse language in Chinese that you would never come to know if you just studied textbook Chinese (even in China, where foreign students are all to often isolated from the rougher edges of the Chinese population). Even if you aren't interested in Chinese literature, this book has a lot of Chinese slang and all in the appropriate context of it's use, so even if you just want to talk rough & dirty these authors are worth a look (especialy Mian Mian... I still don't understand why that girl isn't banned by the government!)

4. This book represents mainland authors. Most of the time, when Chinese literature is addressed in a class, there are three main areas of focus: Classics & Classical Poetry, the Civil-War/Republic era "Grandfathers," and modern Expatriates. The popular contemporary Authors of both the Mainland and Taiwan are generaly overlooked. For Taiwanese authors, their work is readily available in most Chinatowns, but Mainland Literary authors are harder to find. This book will set you on the right track. Literature in both Taiwan and the Mainland is worth looking at, but they are two highly distinct voices, one cannot substitute for the other.

If these are problems that you were encountering as an advanced student of modern Chinese, then this book should definately be on your short list of materials to buy.


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