The Moon Opera
Publication Date: January 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The debut novel of one of China’s rising young literary talents—a gem of a book that takes a piercing look into the world of Chinese opera and its female stars In a fit of diva jealousy, Xiao Yanqiu, star of The Moon Opera, disfigures her understudy with boiling water. Spurned by the troupe, she turns to teaching.
Twenty years later, a rich cigarette-factory boss offers to underwrite a restaging of the cursed opera, but only on the condition that Xiao Yanqiu return to the role of Chang’e. So she does, this time believing she has fully become the immortal moon goddess.
Set against the drama, intrigue, jealousy, retribution, and redemption of backstage Peking opera, The Moon Opera is a stunning portrait of women in a world that simultaneously reveres and restricts them. Bi Feiyu, one of China’s young literary stars, re-creates all the temptations and triumphs of the stage the world over in this gem of a novel.
BI FEIYU, winner of the 2010 Man Asian Prize for Three Sisters, is one of the most respected authors and screenwriters in China today. He was born in 1964 in Xinghua, in the province of Jiangsu. A journalist and poet as well as a novelist, he has been awarded a number of literary prizes, including the Lu Xun Prize for 1995–96. He cowrote the film Shanghai Triad, which was directed by the acclaimed Zhang Yimou.
FOREIGN PRAISE FOR THE MOON OPERA
“This tiny, perfect novel concerns the hermetic world of traditional Peking opera [with] distant echoes of All About Eve.”—Times (London)
“The reader finds himself easily drawn into the very coded universe of Chinese opera . . . A real moment of pleasure.” —Asia News