ISBN-10:
0231134576
ISBN-13:
9780231134576
Pub. Date:
02/18/2008
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
City of the Queen: A Novel of Colonial Hong Kong / Edition 1

City of the Queen: A Novel of Colonial Hong Kong / Edition 1

Paperback

Current price is , Original price is $23.95. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.

Overview

From its beginnings as a pestilent port and colonial backwater, Hong Kong became the "pearl" of a declining British empire, and then ascended to its present status as a gleaming city of commerce. Throughout its history, Hong Kong has been steeped in drama, intrigue, and seismic social shifts. Shih Shu-ching, an acclaimed Taiwanese writer, sets her epic tale of one beautiful and determined woman's family amid this rich and colorful history, capturing in vivid, panoramic detail the unique tensions and atmosphere that characterize the city. Critically praised and long popular in the Chinese-speaking world, City of the Queen is now available for the first time in English.

After being kidnapped from her home in rural China, Huang, the novel's heroine, is brought to Hong Kong and sold into prostitution. Thanks to her shrewd, sometimes devious business dealings and unexpected twists of fate, she emerges from these cruel beginnings to become a wealthy landowner. City of the Queen follows the fortunes of Huang's family, including those of her devoutly Christian daughter-in-law, who tries to redeem the sins she believes Huang has committed; her grandson, who becomes the first Chinese judge on the Hong Kong Supreme Court; and her great-granddaughter, a quintessential Hong Kong young woman, who turns her back on family tradition to revel in the pleasures offered by the 1970s and 1980s metropolis.

The novel introduces a range of other Chinese and British characters, examining the complicated relationships between colonizer and colonized in a searing and perceptive portrayal of colonialism. There is Adam Smith, the British officer who struggles with the competing seductions of Huang's beauty and British respectability; Qu Yabing, Smith's servant, who despises anything Chinese, yet becomes Huang's lover after she is abandoned by Smith; Colonel White, the sadistic colonial police chief; and Auntie Eleven, a concubine who owns a pawnshop and teaches Huang the secrets of the trade.

Columbia University Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231134576
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 02/18/2008
Series: Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Shih Shu-Ching is one of the most influential cultural figures in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Her novels include The Barren Years, Passing by Loytsin, and Blush of Intoxication. Sylvia Li-chun Lin and Howard Goldblatt teach at the University of Notre Dame. Their previous collaborations include translations of Li Yung-p'ing's Retribution: The Jiling Chronicles and Chu T'ien-wen's Notes of a Desolate Man.

Columbia University Press

What People are Saying About This

Ping-hui Liao

A sensual retelling of Madama Butterfly and The World of Suzie Wong, this fascinating colonial drama of sex and economy stretches from the British occupation of Hong Kong to the eve of its return to China. City of the Queen is beautifully translated and is a must read for postcolonial scholars.

Ping-hui Liao

A sensual retelling of Madama Butterfly and The World of Suzie Wong, this fascinating colonial drama of sex and economy stretches from the British occupation of Hong Kong to the eve of its return to China. City of the Queen is beautifully translated and is a must read for postcolonial scholars.

Ping-hui Liao, professor of literary and critical studies, National Tsinghua University, Taiwan

Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang

After coming to national renown in the 1960s with her experimental, avant-garde short stories, Taiwanese writer Shih Shu-Ching amply demonstrated her equally impressive talents for epic works of fiction in City of the Queen (an abridged translation of the Hong Kong Trilogy). The story is about a legendary woman whose life, and the miracles filling it, are intertwined with the tortuous history of Hong Kong's colonial era. The imminent event of the 1997 Handover, looming large in the book in the form of an anxiety that cannot be dispelled, inevitably imbues it with a strong sense of history. Witnessing an epoch coming to an end, the author contemplates issues of race, gender, and human fate that profoundly complicate the life of the novel's protagonist as well as that of every other Hong Kong resident.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews