Little Reunions by Eileen Chang
(New York Review Books Classics)

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To my knowledge, neither this book nor the original Chinese version, published in Hong Kong in 2009, has been edited by a single other hand besides theirs, a fact that may explain why the novel approaches, but never quite achieves, brilliance.
-NY Times

Synopsis

A best-selling, autobiographical depiction of class privilege, bad romance, and political intrigue during World War II in China.

Now available in English for the first time, Eileen Chang’s dark romance opens with Julie, living at a convent school in Hong Kong on the eve of the Japanese invasion. Her mother, Rachel, long divorced from Julie’s opium-addict father, saunters around the world with various lovers. Recollections of Julie’s horrifying but privileged childhood in Shanghai clash with a flamboyant, sometimes incestuous cast of relations that crowd her life. Eventually, back in Shanghai, she meets the magnetic Chih-yung, a traitor who collaborates with the Japanese puppet regime. Soon they’re in the throes of an impassioned love affair that swings back and forth between ardor and anxiety, secrecy and ruin. Like Julie’s relationship with her mother, her marriage to Chih-yung is marked by long stretches of separation interspersed with unexpected little reunions. Chang’s emotionally fraught, bitterly humorous novel holds a fractured mirror directly in front of her own heart.
 

About Eileen Chang

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EILEEN CHANG (1920-1995) was born in Shanghai. In 1952 she migrated to Hong Kong to work as a translator for the American News Agency. She fled Communist China for the United States in 1956, never to return again. After living in New York, Chang moved to California, where she was a prominent fiction writer, essayist, public intellectual, and translator. In September 1995 she was found dead in her Los Angeles department. Her works include Romances, The Rice-Sprout Song: A Novel of Modern China, and The Rouge of the North.
 
Published January 16, 2018 by NYRB Classics. 352 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Little Reunions
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Oct 16 2017

Originally written in 1976 but not published until 2009 in China, this is a welcome discovery from a writer who is only now, more than two decades after her death, coming into her own.

Read Full Review of Little Reunions (New York Rev... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Weike wang on Feb 02 2018

To my knowledge, neither this book nor the original Chinese version, published in Hong Kong in 2009, has been edited by a single other hand besides theirs, a fact that may explain why the novel approaches, but never quite achieves, brilliance.

Read Full Review of Little Reunions (New York Rev... | See more reviews from NY Times

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