A Love Story
By Ye Zhaoyan
(Anchor, Paperback, 9781400034277, 400pp.)
Publication Date: June 8, 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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A masterpiece by one of China’s bestselling contemporary novelists, Nanjing 1937 tells the epic story of a passionate courtship played out against the backdrop of one of the century’s most harrowing scenes of war.
Ding Wenyu is a philandering professor famous for storming out of class if there aren’t enough pretty girls to teach. When he attends the wedding of the beautiful Ren Yuyuan, he falls hopelessly in love with her. Embarking with single-minded resolve to win her heart, he writes daily love letters and makes unabashed overtures to no avail, all the while blissfully unaware of the mounting threat of the Japanese, whose siege of the historic capital city will result in the rape of thousands and murder on an unimaginable scale. A love story devastatingly linked to a nation’s inexorable fate, this swirling tempest of a novel moves us from antic heights to tragic depths while vividly evoking a prosperous China on the brink of political upheaval.
Ye Zhaoyan is one of the most popular and prolific writers in China. Born in Nanjing in 1957, he is the grandson of Ye Shaojun, one of the most important Chinese writers of the early 20th century. He has won many awards for his writing and has published essays as well as fiction. He lives in Nanjing.
“A treasure. . . . Impeccable and fascinating. . . . [Ye Zhaoyan] is a genius.” —Carolyn See, The Washington Post
“This book doesn’t just entertain, but chokes you with laughter and tears. . . . Ye Zhaoyan is a master storyteller indeed.” —Wang Ping, author of Aching for Beauty and Foreign Devil
“Winning, witty. . . . Poignant and deliciously ironic. . . . A rich tableau of prewar Chinese politics and social mores.” —Publishers Weekly
“A astonishing work . . . reminiscent of, and comparable to, Dostoevsky at his most powerful.” —James Schamus, producer and screenwriter of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
“Searing. . . . Capture[s] a broad spectrum of passionate emotions that transcend the cultural divide between East and West.” —Booklist