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Retribution: The Jiling Chronicles

Yung-P'ing Li and Yongping Li


  • Hardcover
    $78.52
PUBLISHED: 30th September 2003
ISBN: 9780231128742
ANNOTATION:
"Retribution" opens with the raucous festivities surrounding the annual procession to honor the Bodhisattva Guanyin. Changsheng, the young wife of the local coffin maker Liu Laoshi, is raped while making an offering to Guanyin in the hope of increasing her chances of bearing a son. Changsheng hangs herself following the encounter, and Liu Laoshi exacts bloody vengeance on the rapist's own wife and favorite prostitute. This act of sexual violence and its retribution provide the narrative pivot around which is woven a web of interconnecting stories, whose characters and events provide divergent perspectives on the rape and its aftermath. The result is an unforgettable exploration of the intersections of sexual desire, sadism, folk belief, and the inexorable cycles of karmic retribution.
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  • Hardcover
    $78.52
PUBLISHED: 30th September 2003
ISBN: 9780231128742
ANNOTATION:
"Retribution" opens with the raucous festivities surrounding the annual procession to honor the Bodhisattva Guanyin. Changsheng, the young wife of the local coffin maker Liu Laoshi, is raped while making an offering to Guanyin in the hope of increasing her chances of bearing a son. Changsheng hangs herself following the encounter, and Liu Laoshi exacts bloody vengeance on the rapist's own wife and favorite prostitute. This act of sexual violence and its retribution provide the narrative pivot around which is woven a web of interconnecting stories, whose characters and events provide divergent perspectives on the rape and its aftermath. The result is an unforgettable exploration of the intersections of sexual desire, sadism, folk belief, and the inexorable cycles of karmic retribution.

Annotation

"Retribution" opens with the raucous festivities surrounding the annual procession to honor the Bodhisattva Guanyin. Changsheng, the young wife of the local coffin maker Liu Laoshi, is raped while making an offering to Guanyin in the hope of increasing her chances of bearing a son. Changsheng hangs herself following the encounter, and Liu Laoshi exacts bloody vengeance on the rapist's own wife and favorite prostitute. This act of sexual violence and its retribution provide the narrative pivot around which is woven a web of interconnecting stories, whose characters and events provide divergent perspectives on the rape and its aftermath. The result is an unforgettable exploration of the intersections of sexual desire, sadism, folk belief, and the inexorable cycles of karmic retribution.

Publisher Description

Retribution opens with the raucous festivities surrounding the annual procession to honor the Bodhisattva Guanyin. Changsheng, the young wife of the local coffin maker Liu Laoshi, is raped while making an offering to Guanyin in the hope of increasing her chances of bearing a son. Changsheng hangs herself following the encounter, and Liu Laoshi exacts bloody vengeance on the rapist's own wife and favorite prostitute. This act of sexual violence and its retribution provide the narrative pivot around which is woven a web of interconnecting stories, whose characters and events provide divergent perspectives on the rape and its aftermath. The result is an unforgettable exploration of the intersections of sexual desire, sadism, folk belief, and the inexorable cycles of karmic retribution.

Author Biography

Li Yung-p'ing is a Chinese Malaysian writer and one of Taiwan's best-known and most controversial novelists. His other works include Haidong Qing and Zhu Ling's Wanderings in the Wonderland.Howard Goldblatt is professor of Chinese literature at the University of Notre Dame. He is translator of The Taste of Apples (Columbia, 2001) and co-editor of The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature (Columbia, 1996). Sylvia Li-chun Lin is assistant professor of East Asian languages and literature at Notre Dame. Together they have translated Chu T'ien-wen's Notes of a Desolate Man and Alai's Red Poppies.

Review

Li carves out a dark novel set in the red light district of the small Jiling township... What unfolds is a melange of stories told from the perspective of various townspeople concerning the individuals, events, and aftermath of [a] single, fateful evening... Like works by Hong Ying, the narratives are brutally real and even sinister at times. Library Journal The novel explores the intersections of sexual desire, sadism, folk belief and karmic retribution. Indianapolis Star The Jiling Chronicles...will demostrate to the English-reading world why he has been critically indentified as a premier writer of Chinese fiction in our time. -- Timothy C. Wong World Literature Today The English publication of Li Yong-p'ing's intriguing and complex novel is certainly timely and most welcome. -- Lingchei Letty Chen MCLC List

Promotional

"Li Yung-p'ing is undoubtedly one of the most important writers in contemporary Chinese literature. His unique style of language and the complex narrative structure are two of his trademarks. Retribution exemplifies his modernist elegance and mastery of Chinese language. The basic plot of Jiling Chronicles is simple; the narrative structure that Li Yung-p'ing builds around the plot, however, complicates a rather simple incident into a mystery and a detective work. Because of its parallax perspective, reading the novel can be an intriguing experience. The novel's topic on desire and revenge explores fundamental human emotions and the consequences of actions. A timeless piece, this novel is a must read." -- Lingchei Letty Chen, Washington University in St. Louis "Written by one of Taiwan's most provocative and innovative authors, Retribution opens with a violent rape and suicide, and then presents a Roshomon-style kaleidoscopic array of differing perspectives of the same event and its aftermath. In addition, the novel also features an assortment of subplots which use an almost lyrical tone to explore the intersections of devotion and blasphemy, of eros and thanatos, in this isolated rural community." -- Carlos Rojas, University of Florida

Product Details

Author
Yung-P'ing Li, Yongping Li
Short Title
RETRIBUTION
Pages
240
Publisher
Columbia University Press
Series
Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan (Hardcover)
Language
English
ISBN-10
0231128746
ISBN-13
9780231128742
Media
Book
Format
Hardcover
Year
2003
Publication Date
2003-09-30
Subtitle
The Jiling Chronicles
Country of Publication
United States
Translator
Howard Goldblatt, Sylvia Lin
Qualifications
Ph.D.
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