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White Snake

and other stories


By Geling Yan

Translated by Lawrence Walker


In this collection of five short stories and a novella, set mostly in China during and after the Cultural Revolution, Geling Yan presents us with unforgettable characters who have all, in one way or another, left home. Taking as her territory the disorienting space between home and away, Yan charts the unexpected and illuminating transformation of her characters' hearts and minds as they find themselves thrust into unlikely intimacy with strangers who embody different histories and different desires. White Snake is the first English translation of this award-winning author's elegantly crafted writing.



Yan’s stories are very sensuous. One experiences and becomes immersed in her works instead of simply reading them. In my opinion, Geling Yan is the most exquisite fiction writer in the Chinese language.

— Joan Chen


Not only is Geling Yan a magnificent storyteller, but she is also a master stylist. Every character she creates on the page quickly springs to action with all of the complexity, contradiction, drama, tragedy and triumph of real life. Yan is one of the best of today’s writers…Every fan of first-rate fiction will finish this collection with a hunger for more of this talented writer’s magic.

— Larry Engelmann, author of Daughter of China


This superb collection of five stories and a novella by a prizewinning Chinese writer vividly dramatizes the varied human consequences of her country’s repressive and punitive "Cultural Revolution"…Translator Walker has appended extensive and informative "Footnotes" to his admirable translation of Yen’s accomplished and seductively beautiful stories.

— Kirkus Reviews


Yan is an incredible writer—subtle, gorgeous, sly, and profound…this book, to put it simply, is a knock-out. Not only do the stories here describe an important moment in human history…they do what great literature has always done. They move us. They uplift us. They show us again that it is a strange and wonderful and terrible thing to be what we are.

— Ink, The New Times L.A.

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Product info:

183 pp  |  Paperback  |  1999  |  5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches  |  ISBN 9781879960558

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