Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chinese Literature Challenge 2011

Hosted by Chinoiseries.

February 3rd, 2011 to January 23rd, 2012.

"Must be books written by a Chinese author or books about China (incl. Hongkong and Macau) or Taiwan. Read at least one book and write a review about it. There are four levels of participation."

My goal is Artisan level (4-6 books)

Books completed:

1.Three Sisters by Bu Feiyu****  (Man Asian Prize Winner 2010)
2.Taroko Gorge*** by Jacob Ritari  (set in Taiwan)
On hand tbr:

Soul Mountain by Xingjian Gao (Nobel author)
Moa's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
Turbulence by Jia Pingwa (Pegasus prize for Literature)
The Drink and Dream Teahouse by Justin Hill
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai by Ruiyan Xu
Transparency: Stories by Frances Hwang

Previously read and recommended:

Village of Stone by Xiaolu Guo*****
The Cave Man by Xiaoda Xiao*****
The Heart of the Buddha by Elsie Sze***+
The Skull Mantra (Inspector Shan Tao Yun) by Eliot Pattison*****
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro****+ (set in Shanghai)
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. Lee****+ (set in Hong Kong)
The Painted Veil by W. Someret Maugham***+ (set in China)
The Good Earth by Pearl Buck*****
Sons (#2 of The Good Earth Trilogy) by Pearl Buck****
A House Divided (#3 of The Good Earth Tirlogy) by Pearl Buck****
Imperial Woman by Pearl Buck****
Peony by Pearl Buck****

A list of Chinese literature suggestions provided by the host.

Feel free to join us. Questions, comments, reading recommendations, requests for brief reviews, or links to reviews you've written are always welcomed. I'd love to read them.


  1. I need to participate in one of these Asian Lit but I am highly indebted to a challenge I set myself sometime ago. I love your choices as I have read some good reviews about them including Soul Mountain.

  2. Nice list. I'd also recommend Black Snow by Liu Heng--a dark story on loathing/isolation set during 1980s China.

  3. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog and directing me here. I am happy to have found your blog and this challenge!

  4. I loved the film of The Painted Veil, but I've not read the book. The one I've read several times over is The Good Earth. I hope you enjoy your choices, they all look wonderful!

  5. I've read some of the books on your list and just added a modern mystery set in NYC and Seattle, Red Jade by Henry Chang. My comments on Red Jade

  6. Oh this is a great challenge. Being of Chinese descent, I make an effort to connect with my heritage by reading Chinese literature. If you feel a bit adventurous, I recommend The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xuejin. It's also known as The Story of the Stone.

    I have read the stories collection Transparency earlier this year and enjoyed tremendously how Frances Wong "sees" Asian generation they way it is. A lot of the stories deal with unfulfilled dreams, the sense of loss in self, and inter-generational miscommunication.

    I have been avoiding challenges all of last year. Maybe this is the time to come out of hallucination.

  7. This is a great list of Chinese Literature. I appreciate this. Thanks



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