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Translator's Note Preface Bibliographic Note The Fish The Drowning of an Old Cat His Son's Big Doll The Gong Ringworms The Taste of Apples Xiaoqi's Cap The Two Sign Painters Sayonara * Zaijian
From the preeminent writer of Taiwanese nativist fiction and the leading translator of Chinese literature come these poignant accounts of everyday life in rural and small-town Taiwan. Huang's characters-generally the uneducated and disadvantaged who must cope with assaults on their traditionalism, hostility from their urban brethren and, of course, the debilitating effects of poverty-come to life in all their human uniqueness, free from idealization.
Huang Chun-ming began publishing his work in the literary supplement to the United Daily News (Lianhe bao) and in the literary magazine You shi wenyi as part of the "native soil" movement. Howard Goldblatt is professor of Chinese literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the translator of numerous books, including Rose, Rose I Love You by Wang Chen-ho and, with Sylvia Li-chun Lin, Chu T'ien-wen's Notes of a Desolate Man, chosen "Translation of the Year" (1999) by the American Literary Translators Association.
The literary master whom Huang seems most to resemble is Anton Chekhov. Huang portrays his characters with the same kind of compassionate objectivity, gentle humor, and sharp poignancy. His style is pithy, direct and clear... the clash between traditional ways and urban exigencies, the desire to fit in, the need to save face and the difficulty of making a living without losing one's self-respect are problems these characters confront every day, problems that will strike a chord with readers everywhere. -- Merle Rubin Los Angeles Times Book Review (Best Books of 2001) The nine original stories... and Howard Goldblatt's sensitive translations of them are now poignant classics that do credit to David Der-wei Wang's new Modern Chinese Literature form Taiwan series... Huang's fertile imagination moves amid squatters, grotesques, misfits, oddballs-people with lifestyles characteristic of a poor, developing country prematurely unsettled by urbanization, world politics, and globalization... The characters'guilt, despair, and defiant pride are universal, generally revealed in subtle but startling ways. World Literature Today