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Retribution: The Jiling Chronicles Hardcover – Sep 25 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (Sept. 25 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231128746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231128742
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
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Product Description


Li carves out a dark novel set in the red light district of the small Jiling township... What unfolds is a mélange of stories told from the perspective of various townspeople concerning the individuals, events, and aftermath of [a] single, fateful evening... Like works by Hong Ying, the narratives are brutally real and even sinister at times.

(Library Journal)

The novel explores the intersections of sexual desire, sadism, folk belief and karmic retribution.

(Indianapolis Star)

The Jiling Chronicles...will demostrate to the English-reading world why he has been critically indentified as a premier writer of Chinese fiction in our time.

(Timothy C. Wong World Literature Today)

The English publication of Li Yong-p'ing's intriguing and complex novel is certainly timely and most welcome.

(Lingchei Letty Chen MCLC List)


Li Yung-p'ing is undoubtedly one of the most important writers in contemporary Chinese literature. His unique style of language and the complex narrative structure are two of his trademarks. Retribution exemplifies his modernist elegance and mastery of Chinese language. The basic plot of Jiling Chronicles is simple; the narrative structure that Li Yung-p'ing builds around the plot, however, complicates a rather simple incident into a mystery and a detective work. Because of its parallax perspective, reading the novel can be an intriguing experience. The novel's topic on desire and revenge explores fundamental human emotions and the consequences of actions. A timeless piece, this novel is a must read.

(Lingchei Letty Chen, Washington University in St. Louis)|

Written by one of Taiwan's most provocative and innovative authors, Retribution opens with a violent rape and suicide, and then presents a Roshomon-style kaleidoscopic array of differing perspectives of the same event and its aftermath. In addition, the novel also features an assortment of subplots which use an almost lyrical tone to explore the intersections of devotion and blasphemy, of eros and thanatos, in this isolated rural community.

(Carlos Rojas, University of Florida)

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Everyone who saw her said she was good-looking, but no one could have foreseen how such pure, unaffected beauty would one day turn into a curse. Read the first page
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