Paul Theroux

Inflaming the Chinese

One Half of the Sky: A Selection from Contemporary Women Writers of China

By

William Heinemann 143pp £11.95 order from our bookshop

Modern Chinese literature is not in a particularly robust phase at the moment, but if you complain about this to an educated Chinese you will be told that, artistically, things haven’t been the same since the Tang Dynasty (618–907). That by common consent was the high point of Chinese culture. Mao Zedong was especially fond of the Tang poet, Du Fu, who lived in the Eighth Century. ‘China has no tradition of women’s literature’, Frances Wood says in her introduction to this book of Twentieth Century stories by Chinese women writers. But there is no shortage of stories about women, and indeed one of the most interesting is the pornographic classic, Jin Ping Mei, which has been banned in China since the Ming Dynasty (1368–1643).

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • With our February issue about to go to press, enjoy a slice of LR history - Hilary Mantel on Joan Haslip's biograph… ,
    • What did London look like in the 6th Century? Rory Naismith's 'Citadel of the Saxons' tries to answer that questi… ,
    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,