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Retribution: The Jiling Chronicles [Hardcover]

Yung-p'ing Li , Howard Goldblatt , Sylvia Li-chun Lin

Price: CDN$ 30.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 25 2003 Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan

Retribution opens with the raucous festivities surrounding the annual procession to honor the Bodhisattva Guanyin. Changsheng, the young wife of the local coffin maker Liu Laoshi, is raped while making an offering to Guanyin in the hope of increasing her chances of bearing a son. Changsheng hangs herself following the encounter, and Liu Laoshi exacts bloody vengeance on the rapist's own wife and favorite prostitute. This act of sexual violence and its retribution provide the narrative pivot around which is woven a web of interconnecting stories, whose characters and events provide divergent perspectives on the rape and its aftermath. The result is an unforgettable exploration of the intersections of sexual desire, sadism, folk belief, and the inexorable cycles of karmic retribution.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (Sept. 25 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231128746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231128742
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g

Product Description

Review

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)

Review

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)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
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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