#AAS2020 Happy Hour Reads: Asian Fiction in Translation

Well, it’s 4:00 PM EDT on day three of #AAS2020, and we bet you’re itching for some down time. Or, maybe you’ve just finished reading Christine’s post and you’re aching to escape into another time and place. We’ve got you covered either way. Grab a drink and settle in for some delightful reading.

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Friend: A Novel from North Korea

We’ll start with one of Christine’s favorites. Paek Nam-nyong’s Friend is a tale of marital intrigue, abuse, and divorce in North Korea. This groundbreaking translation of one of North Korea’s most popular writers offers English-language readers a page-turner full of psychological tension as well as a revealing portrait of a society that is typically seen as closed to the outside world.This book will be available in May 2020, but you can still pre-order it today and save 30 percent with the conference discount. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this excerpt from chapter 2.

Fu Ping: A Novel

Next, we’ll travel to the streets of Shanghai through the eyse of Fu Ping. Fu Ping is a keenly observed portrait of the lives of lower-class women in Shanghai in the early years of the People’s Republic of China. Wang Anyi, one of contemporary China’s most acclaimed authors, explores the daily lives of migrants from rural areas and other people on the margins of urban life.We hope you enjoy this excerpt from chapter 5.

A Couple of Soles: A Comic Play from Seventeenth-Century China

Romance fans will fall in love with these last two excerpts. A Couple of Soles is a classic comedic romance by the seventeenth-century playwright Li Yu. The first major comedy from late imperial China to appear in English translation, it provides an unparalleled view of the theater in seventeenth-century China. This is an excerpt of Scene 8: The Bandit Sets Out.

Plum Shadows and Plank Bridge: Two Memoirs About Courtesans

Delve into these two memoirs by famous men of letters, Reminiscences of the Plum Shadows Convent by Mao Xiang (1611–93) and Miscellaneous Records of Plank Bridge by Yu Huai (1616–96), that recall times spent with courtesans. They evoke the courtesan world in the final decades of the Ming dynasty and the aftermath of its collapse. Tell us what you think about this excerpt, “Chen Yuanyuan,” from Plum Shadows.


Enter our #AAS2020 drawing for a chance to win a free book. Looking for a different book? Although we encourages you to support your local bookstore, we are still offering a 30% conference discount when you order from our website. Use coupon code AAS20 at checkout to save on our exhibited titles.

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