If you want to write good short stories, Lao She once observed, you have to give it everything you've got. The world will allow the existence of a very imperfect novel, but it won't be that polite with a short story. Art, after all, is not like a pig--the fatter the better.
Lao She's stories proved to be very good indeed, moving and delighting readers for many years and establishing him as a master of classic modern fiction. Thankfully we now have access to a rich collection of his short stories in superb English translations. These stories showcase the varied facets of Lao She's impressive talent and draw us effortlessly into his world-and we emerge the better for it.
This is a writer eternally immersed in and fascinated by the kaleidoscope of humankind. The stories are characterized by humor and by intensely sympathetic explorations of human relationships. Some of them are unsettling. Many are poignant. Most of them make us laugh. All evoke the color and energy of life, for Lao She is also a connoisseur of the everyday with a keen appreciation of the concrete detail.
A plate of steaming dumplings, the gleam of gold-capped front teeth, rickshaws dragging along alleys, punishing winter winds, rolls of bright silk, a pair of chopsticks--these things are the stuff of Lao She's fiction and the essence of his metaphors, and he cherishes such little details of life more than the abstractions of politics or philosophy.
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 432 g
Dimensions: 204 x 133 x 20 mm