The Price of Tea in China

The Price of Tea in China

The Price of Tea in China

The Price of Tea in China

Synopsis

With the practiced eye of a traveler at large, E. Shaskan Bumas portrays characters struggling to define their relationships to each other and to their time. Whether scientists or artisans, punks or new-agers, single mothers or students, activists or children in harm's way, Bumas's characters fill these stories with heart and subversive humor. The Price of Tea in China depicts places as far-flung as a Manhattan ghetto and a provincial Chinese city through an exploration of human relationships that makes each location both foreign and familiar. In "Flag of Fire", an American teacher becomes caught up in the lives of students engaged in China's pro-democracy movement. "Your Cordially Requested Presence" reveals a man's humorous sufferings as he acts the part of fiance for a lesbian friend at her cousin's wedding. "The Attraction to Gravity" brings us a young man whose growing appreciation of his girlfriend's small daughter is threatened by her father's reappearance. In "Cupid's Carriers", a studentchronicles,college life in the era of punk rock through a journal that takes on a life of its own. In "Emerging", a neighborhood's web of inhabitants is torn apart by a police riot, and in "Spare the Child", a man describes the unplanned pregnancy of his girlfriend with biting dislike.

Excerpt

Above is heaven; below are Suzhou and Hangzhou. When Marco Polo visited the emperor's court at Hangzhou, its intricate crossings of zigzagging canals so impressed the Venetian that he called this heaven the world's most magnificent city. Two-thirds of a millennium later, the patterns of its streets still repeat the twists and turns of the stagnant canals. When Chinese refer to this paradise now, they speak of the four-square-mile freshwater West Lake, where skinny men with powerful arms row amidst jumping fish that dive into the air above, breaking the inky surface. Gardens and parks surround the lake and divide it along two causeways; there are carpets of lily pads near the shore; the shaven trees were decapitated by a recent typhoon, and residents wait to see if the tentative new branches will sprout cherry and plum blossoms again. On the occasional clear day, under skies without a trace of blue, tourists in gondolas can look beyond the lake to forestcovered mountains or turn around to see slabs of high-rises.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.