The Moon Opera by Bi Feiyu

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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.


About Bi Feiyu

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BI FEIYU is one of the most respected authors and screenwriters in China today. He was born in 1964 in Xinghua, in the province of Jiangsu, China. He started to write early on, and worked as a journalist for a newspaper in Nanjing. He also began writing poetry, and then novels, several of which have been awarded literary prizes, including the Xu Lun prize 1995-6. He co-wrote the film Shanghai Triad, which was directed by acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou. In his writing, Feiyu often describes the confrontation between the individual and history - both personal and collective.
Published January 29, 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 140 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Moon Opera

Kirkus Reviews

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The American debut of an acclaimed Chinese novelist.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Moon Opera

Publishers Weekly

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A peerless singer in the Peking Opera is ruined by her jealousy of her understudy in this vividly sketched tale of art and money by Chinese screenwriter (Shanghai Triad</EMP

Oct 27 2008 | Read Full Review of The Moon Opera

San Francisco Chronicle

The theater director ponders the businessman's offer, reflecting on the state of Peking Opera in today's China - a waning audience, uncertain funding - and decides that he cannot reject the money.

Feb 10 2009 | Read Full Review of The Moon Opera

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