By Li Yu
Edited by Patrick Hanan
xiii + 202 pages
One of the most original—and controversial—figures in the history of Chinese literature, Li Yu specialized in challenging social taboos and turning traditional literary themes on their heads. The stories featured here combine the racy wit and bawdiness of the traditional oral story-teller with a very modern blend of subtlety, irony and psychological insight to create a vibrant and accessible picture of the 17th century Chinese life.
This illustrated collection is an important step in bringing the writing of Li Yu to a wider audience. Here is a compelling example of a vibrancy and insight only now being rediscovered by contemporary Chinese writers.
' Transcending formulaic themes, Li Yu makes it so that one can never read the classic Chinese folktale with quite the same respect for tradition.'
—South China Morning Post