Description - A Private Life by Ran Chen
Set against a backdrop of the decades that included the Cultural Revolution and the Tian'anmen Square Incident, A Private Life portrays the effect of that social change and political turbulence on the protagonist's inner life as she moves from childhood to early maturity. Ni Niuniu is a talented and remarkable young woman who, unable to bear the clamor and hypocrisy of the world around her, secludes herself in a painstakingly created spiritual garden, where she can enjoy an isolated and lonely "truth and beauty." With such an attitude, she is considered abnormal by those around her and diagnosed as psychotic by her doctor. In a rapidly modernizing Beijing, Ni Niuniu reveals her personal identity through the melancholy she experiences in a life of urban alienation. As she takes us further and further into her psyche, the lines between writer, narrator, and protagonist blur, but her innermost secrets, sexual experiences, and fantasies are vividly displayed.
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(137mm x 210mm x mm)
Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication:
Book Reviews - A Private Life by Ran Chen
Author Biography - Ran Chen
Chen Ran is the author of numerous short stories, which are available in the four-volume Collected Works of Chen Ran, and Bits and Pieces, a collection of essays. A Private Life is the first of her works to appear in English. John Howard-Gibbon, a copy editor for China Daily in Beijing, has translated many works, notably Lao She's Teahouse.