The Fall of the Pagoda
The Fall of the Pagoda, the first of two semi-autobiographical novels written originally by Eileen Chang in English, depicts in gripping detail her childhood years in Tianjin and Shanghai, while The Book of Change revolves around her wartime student days in Hong Kong. The Fall of the Pagoda introduces a young girl (called Lute) growing up amid many family entanglements with her divorced mother and spinster aunt during the 1930s in Shanghais International Settlement. Both novels shed light on the construction of selfhood in Changs other novels, through lengthy discussions of Changs difficult relationship with her selfishly demanding mother as well as of intricate dynamics in the extended families who emerged from aristocratic households of the late Qing Dynasty. While the main characters belong to the new Republican period, their worldviews and everyday life are still haunted by the shadows of the past.
- Paperback | 308 pages
- 154 x 215 x 20mm | 498g
- 15 Apr 2010
- Hong Kong University Press
- Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Eileen Chang is now recognized as one of the greatest modern Chinese writers, though she was completely erased from official histories in mainland China. These previously unpublished, semi-autobiographical novels depict in gripping detail her childhood years in Tianjin and Shanghai, as well as her student days in Hong Kong during World War II, and shed light on the construction of selfhood in her other novels.
"The Fall of the Pagoda begins as a comedy of manners and gradually evolves into a gothic thriller . . . Contradictions and aberrations are the norm in Lute's family. This is a household immersed in a decaying grandeur amid the intoxicating smell of opium
About Eileen Chang
Eileen Chang is now recognized as one of the greatest modern Chinese writers, though she was completely erased from official histories in mainland China. She was the most popular writer in Japanese-occupied Shanghai during World War II, with English and Chinese stories focusing on human frailties rather than nationalist propaganda. For her non-committal politics and idiosyncrasies, she was boycotted by fellow writers after the war and forced to the margins of literary respectability.