• Current Reads

      Life after Life Jill McCorkle
      This Is Your Captain Speaking Jon Methven
      The Starboard Sea Amber Dermont
      Snark David Denby
      Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
  • Popular Tags

  • Recent Reflections

  • Categories

  • Moleskine’s All-Time Favorites

  • Echoes

    The HKIA brings Hong… on [788] Island and Peninsula 島與半…
    Adamos on The Master and Margarita:…
    sumithra MAE on D.H. Lawrence’s Why the…
    To Kill a Mockingbir… on [35] To Kill A Mockingbird…
    Deanna Friel on [841] The Price of Salt (Carol…
    Minnie on [367] The Rouge of the North 怨…
  • Reminiscences

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,081,359 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,710 other followers

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow

Where have I been that I do not know this book is available in English translation? The Song of Everlasting Sorrow is named one of the top 100 Chinese novels in the 20th century. It’s the story of Wang Qiyao, a young student in Shanghai whose simple beauty impresses photographer Mr. Cheng, who suggests that Qiyao enter a beauty contest. Qiyao wins 2nd runner up, and promptly catches the eye of Councilor Li, a Nationalist official who makes Qiyao his mistress, and even furnishes her with a sumptuous Shanghai flat. But times in Shanghai, and larger China, are changing quickly, and Councilor Li is but the first of many men to make their mark on Qiyao’s life. For a Chinese woman living in an increasingly rigid society, Qiyao’s sordid past becomes a millstone, and yet she struggles to rise above it. Can she?

7 Responses

  1. Have you read this one in the original, Matt? Obviously that’s not an option for me (though I can now say about 10 phrases in Mandarin and count to 10!), but I’d be interested in checking out the English version!

    • I’m looking forward to this reading this one, because Wang Anyi is a contemporary of Chang Ailing (Eileen Cheng). I’m getting both original Chinese text and English translation.

  2. It’s now on my list. Thanks.

  3. I’m ashamed to say that I have read no Chinese literature.

    • A good introductory point would be Eileen Chang, whose story collection, Love in a Fallen City, is available under New York Reviews Books (NYRB). I also recommend Lu Xun if you’re interested in 20th century Chinese Literature, and Yu Hwa.

      • Thank you for your recommendations Matthew. I am adding these to my list!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: