The Shaanxi Opera
by Jia Pingwa
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Pub Date 23 May 2023 | Archive Date 06 Jun 2023
AmazonCrossing, Amazon Crossing
Winner of the Mao Dun Literature Prize.
From one of China’s most celebrated authors comes a masterful novel about modernity and tradition, love and obsession, and economic change and quixotic dreams—all set against the backdrop of a rapidly urbanizing China.
In post–Cultural Revolution China, in the fading village of Freshwind, the fates of two households are shifting.
The Bais, once the most powerful family in the region, have fallen from status. Their beautiful daughter, Snow Bai, an embodiment of tradition, pursues a career in a vanishing art form. The Xias, enthusiastic members of the Party, are on the rise. Their favorite son, Wind Xia, is a citified politician whose marriage to Snow Bai could unite the two families. But in a village casting about for a new road to prosperity, fortunes can change. Watching it all unfold is a local outcast named Spark. The inveterate busybody is given to strange visions and flights of fancy, and is motivated by the only constant in Freshwind: his mad love for Snow Bai.
Expansive, funny, monumental, and deeply poignant, Jia Pingwa’s The Shaanxi Opera is a keenly observant portrait of China in an era of globalization, societal upheaval, and the growing influence of popular culture.
A Note From the Publisher
Nicky Harman is based in the UK and translates fiction, and occasionally nonfiction and poetry, from Chinese. She has won several awards, including the 2020 Special Book Award of China, the Mao Tai Cup People’s Literature Chinese-English translation prize 2015, and the 2013 China International Translation Contest. When not translating, she works for the registered nonprofit Paper Republic, which promotes Chinese literature in translation. She also runs literary events, writes blogs, and gives talks.
Dylan Levi King is a writer and translator based in Tokyo. His most recent translations include Jia Pingwa’s The Shaanxi Opera, with Nicky Harman, and Cai Chongda’s Vessel. King’s writing on contemporary literature, politics, fashion, and crime has appeared in Palladium, the Spectator, SupChina, and Chinese Literature Today. For more information, visit www.dylanleviking.com.