Top 10 Books by Chinese Authors

Article excerpt

Top 10 books

by Chinese authors

1. Cao Xueqin. Dream of the Red Chamber. Written in the mid-18th century, this is one of China's four great classical novels. It is believed to be semi-biographical and is a sweeping tale of the rise and decay of an elite family and the Qing dynasty.

2. Lu Xun. The Real Story of Ah Q and Other Tales of China. The Complete Fiction of Lu Xun. Translated by Julia Lovell. (Penguin Classics, 2010). Considered the father of modern Chinese fiction, Lu Xun was a powerful voice for social change whose unflinching criticism of inhumanity in China's past has been central to modern Chinese nationalism.

3. Eileen Chang (Zhang Ailing), translated by Karen Kingsbury. Love in a Fallen City (New York Review of Books Classics, 2006). This is a collection of four novellas and two short stories originally published to critical acclaim in Hong Kong and China in the 1940s. Chang's stories explore the social and psychological limits of love, sexuality and family at a time of great upheaval.

4. Ding Ling. I Myself am Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling. Editor, Tani Barlow (Beacon Press, 1990). This collection features the works of one of the most prominent female writers in 20th-century China. Ding Ling's writings focus on unconventional women, questions of sexuality and women's place in land reform and socialist revolution.

5. Wang Shuo, Please Don't Call Me Human (Cheng and Tsui, 2003). Wang Shuo is considered the leader of "hooligan literature" that gained popularity in the 1980s. Originally published in serialized form in 1989 in a Nanjing literary journal, this novel is an irreverent political farce that engages debates about Chinese 'national character' by mocking political culture, Chinese history and sporting competition as means to determine national value. …