A Classic Tragedy: Short Stories
by Xu Xiaobin
With her delightfully evocative prose, Xu Xiaobin presents us with a collection of stories crawling with fraught power dynamics, strange events, and unsettling images. Not only does she write about women, but the worlds around them, the fears that dog them, and the histories that haunt them.
Xu’s entangled plots sneak up on the reader and make a lasting impression, from the blind singing sensation with a calculating mother, to the scornful aunt of an aging Miss Asia winner, to the young woman who becomes consumed by filth in the dilapidated house of her in-laws. Each of these mournful portraits of female life are tinged with the grotesque, and deliver an irresistibly sinister look into a China raging toward modernity while remaining constrained by an age-old violence toward its women. Haunting, brave, and unapologetic, Xu Xiaobin’s is an important voice in Chinese literature that commands the attention of its readers through its gripping story-telling and indomitable courage.
Translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce and Nicky Harman
Publication date: 25 May 2021
Format: Paperback (Demy octavo) 216mm x 138mm