Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories

A Parallel Text

Translated and edited by Aili Mu with Mike Smith

Columbia University Press

Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories

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Pub Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9780231181532

528 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $40.00£32.95

Pub Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9780231181525

528 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $120.00£99.95

Pub Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9780231543637

528 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $39.99£32.95

Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories

A Parallel Text

Translated and edited by Aili Mu with Mike Smith

Columbia University Press

This book presents Chinese short-short stories in English and Chinese, integrating language learning with cultural studies for intermediate to advanced learners of Mandarin Chinese and students of contemporary Chinese literature. Each chapter begins with a critical introduction, followed by two or more stories in parallel Chinese and English texts; each story is followed by a vocabulary list, discussion questions, and a biography of the author.

The chapters are organized around central concepts in Chinese culture such as li (ritual), ren (benevolence), mianzi (face/prestige), being filial, and the dynamics of yin and yang, as well as the themes of governance, identity, love, marriage, and change. The stories selected are short-shorts by important contemporary writers ranging from the most literary to everyday voices. Specifically designed for use in upper-level Chinese language courses, Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text offers students a window onto China today and pathways to its traditions and past as they gain language competence and critical cultural skills.
This collection has so much to recommend it, from the discriminating selection of stories and their artful translation, striking a delicate balance between intimacy and alterity; to the unique organization of the stories around key concepts in Chinese culture; to the notes and commentary, which elucidate without overwhelming. This volume is a must-have for teachers and students of Chinese language, literature, and culture—and for anyone interested in modern literature and in the art of translation. Brian James Baer, Kent State University
Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories makes a wonderful tool for students wishing to improve their reading skills while deepening their understanding of Chinese culture. The result is a highly teachable book on a wide variety of relevant themes of works short enough that they are digestible for the nonnative speaker yet substantive enough to leave a lasting impression. I strongly recommend this book as a text for a fourth-year Chinese language course or a hybrid language/literature course. Much can be learned from reading these pithy stories. Christopher Lupke, University of Alberta
Recommended for upper level Chinese classes and for those already out of college who wish to retain their Chinese proficiency or to regain it after moving off for a while into other fields. Carrie (Reed) Wiebe, Middlebury College
Preface
Introduction
1. Li and Ren
Skull Shave, by Zhao Xin
“Star” Grandma, by Liu Zhenyun
Catharsis, by Nie Xinsen
2. Xiao
Father Makes the Lantern, by Chi Zijian
Little She, by Han Shaogong
Money Order, by Bai Xuchu
Heaven-Bound, but After Summer, by Mo Zhongbai
3. Yin-Yang
Two Minds, by Wang Qionghua
Cuilan’s Love, by Li Lingling
Forever by Your Side, by Wu Zhongzheng
4. Governance
The Stone-Paving Project, by Zhou Bo
The Clear Pond, by Cai Nan
Big Sweet Potatoes, by Zeng Ping
5. Identity
Auntie, by Yu Shengli
Brothers, by Zhou Tao
The Love of Her Life, by Shi Tiesheng
Water in the Well, by Gao Huaichang
6. Face
A Golden Rain, by Wu Nianzhen
Face, by Wei Yonggui
At the Teahouse, by Chen Yong
Chickens Hate Pecked Faces, by Liu Xinwu
7. (Romantic) Love
Little Heartaches, by Zhao Yu
Fake Love Letter, by Zou Jingzhi
A Gentleman’s Love, by Wang Kuishan
Give Him Peace, by An Shiliu
8. Marriage
Mary Zhang, by Xing Hua
The Cost of Marriage, by Zhao Yu
Missing Zhang Meili, by Ye Zhongjian
The Mint’s Invitation, by Tian Shuangling
9. Changes
Future, by Wang Meng
Unknowable Possibilities, by Ge Fei
Pinyin Vocabulary Index
English Vocabulary Index
Bibliography
How to Use This Parallel Text to Teach Chinese Language and Culture

About the Author

Aili Mu is associate professor of Chinese in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Iowa State University. She is a cotranslator of Loud Sparrows: Contemporary Chinese Short-Shorts (Columbia, 2006).

Mike Smith is associate professor of English at Delta State University. He is the author of Byron in Baghdad (2012) and the translator of Faust: A Tragedy (2012).