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Deirdre Reid

Try "Half a Lifelong Romance," another novel by Chang set in the period before WW2. It follows the two main characters for about 20 years from their 20s on. Set mostly in Shanghai, it really gave me a sense of that time and place and what it was like to find your way amidst family expectations, drama and dysfunction.

Even though Little Reunions sounds a bit challenging, hmm, not the right word, you also make it sound good. It's going on my list, thanks.

Danielle

As a matter of fact that is one that is on my pile! It sounds wonderful and now that I have read Little Reunions I feel like everything else will be a piece of cake! LR was good, and I think most people would get on fine with it--just very stream of conscious and I feel like I did not read it slow enough or with as much attention as I should. The reason rereading is so good, right? I hope you like it when you get to it!

smithereens

If you want to develop some visual ideas about China pre-Communist revolution, I would recommend you the movie Lust Caution that is an adaptation of an Eileen Chang story!
You could also try Center Stage (a movie about a 1930s movie star), Raise the red lanterns, or even the Grandmaster (about martial arts but deal with exile and turmoil during the war years)

Danielle

I have the novella Lust Caution and have looked at it many times. I think my library has the movie, too. Maybe in this case it would be good to watch first and *then* read the story. I would have the visuals already in mind! I think I saw Grandmaster (was the heroine able to leap around almost superhuman?--it sounds familiar), but I think I would need to watch it again. Many thanks for the suggestions--it is not that I need to have traveled somewhere, but when you have not seen movies or seen pictures it can be hard imagining some place so far away!

Stefanie

Oh, sounds like it was a good one!

Danielle

It took me a while to get through--that very lengthy cast of characters was a challenge, but I liked it in the end--must read more of her now!

iliana

I've been so curious about this one since you wrote you were reading it. I don't know much about the history of China at that time either so I can imagine how it would help to have that as background for a book like this!

Danielle

It was a really interesting book. I am not sure I would start there with her writing, but I am happy I stuck with it. I hope to read some of her short stories next!

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