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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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Book Details

ISBN: 9780231131964
ISBN-10: 0231131968
Format: Hardback
(137mm x 210mm x mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 21-Apr-2004
Country of Publication: United States

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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.

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