The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber, Vol. 1 by Cao Xueqin
The Golden Days

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"The Story of the Stone" (c. 1760) is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. The first part of the story, The Golden Days, begins the tale of Bao-yu, a gentle young boy who prefers girls to Confucian studies, and his two cousins: Bao-chai, his parents' choice of a wife for him, and the ethereal beauty Dai-yu. Through the changing fortunes of the Jia family, this rich, magical work sets worldly events - love affairs, sibling rivalries, political intrigues, even murder - within the context of the Buddhist understanding that earthly existence is an illusion and karma determines the shape of our lives.

About Cao Xueqin

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Cao Xueqin was born into a wealthy family whose status and fortune diminished when he was a child. He spent the remainder of his life in poverty. The Dream of the Red Chamber, which he devoted ten years of his life to writing, was not published until thirty years after his death.H. Bencraft Joly was Vice-Consulate of Macao at the time he translated The Dream of the Red Chamber in an effort to advance appreciation of Chinese literature among Western scholars.
Published March 30, 1974 by Penguin Classics. 540 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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