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Border Town: 08/19/10

cover art

I can easily fall into ruts in my reading. I tend to gravitate towards California writers. When I feel myself falling into one of these ruts, I walk the shelves of my local library. One of the gems I found this way was Border Town (边城) by Shen Congwen.

Cuicui lives on the edge of a river with her ferryman grandfather. She has learned his job but is also intrigued by thoughts of love and romance. Her two suitors though aren't of her liking, she has grander notions that go beyond the two sides of the river.

It's a beautiful book, one that can easily be read on a lazy afternoon. It seems like such an innocuous volume. But like so many artists and intellectuals Shen was ultimately assigned the job of toilet cleaner after the Cultural Revolution (see "A Public Space" in the links below for more information)

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Sunday, August, 22, 2010 at 09:02:39

Alice Teh

I like the look of this one. I'll look for it. Thanks for the review!

Comment #2: Monday, August 23, 2010 at 21:37:09


You're welcome. Happy reading.

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