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About the book
  • Published: 24 September 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141189390
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $19.99

Half A Lifelong Romance


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Set in 1930s Shanghai, Half a Lifelong Romance is a rich and moving tale of love, hopefulness and the malign forces that - despite our greatest efforts - can overwhelm us.

From one of twentieth-century China's greatest writers and the author of Lust, Caution, this is an unforgettable story of a love affair set in 1930s Shanghai.
Manzhen is a young worker in a Shanghai factory, where she meets Shijun, the son of wealthy merchants. Despite family complications, they fall in love and begin to dream of a shared life together - until circumstances force them apart. When they are reunited after a separation of many years, can they start their relationship again? Or is it destined to be the romance of only half a lifetime? This affectionate and captivating novel tells the moving story of an enduring love affair, and offers a fascinating window onto Chinese life in the first half of the twentieth century.
Eileen Chang was born in Shanghai in 1920. She studied literature at the University of Hong Kong but returned to Shanghai in 1941 during the Japanese occupation, where she established her reputation as a literary star. She moved to America in 1955 and died in Los Angeles in 1995.
Karen S. Kingsbury taught and studied in Chinese-speaking cities for nearly two decades, and currently lives in Pennsylvania, USA. She has translated Love in a Fallen City for Penguin Classics, as well as other essays and stories by Chang.
'A giant of modern Chinese literature' The New York Times
'Eileen Chang is the fallen angel of Chinese literature' Ang Lee
'A dazzling and distinctive fiction writer' New York Times Book Review
'Chang's world is a stark and mysterious place where people strive to find their way in love but often fail under the pressures of family, tradition, and reputation' New Yorker

  • Pub date: 24 September 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141189390
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Eileen Chang

Eileen Chang (1920-1995) was born into an aristocratic family in Shanghai. Chang studied literature at the University of Hong Kong, but the Japanese attack on the city in 1941 forced her to return to occupied Shanghai, where she was able to publish the stories and essays (collected in two volumes, Romances, 1944, and Written on Water, 1945) that soon made her a literary star.
The rise of Communist influence made it increasingly difficult for Chang to continue living in Shanghai; she moved to Hong Kong in 1952, then emigrated to the United States three years later. In spite of the tremendous revival of interest in her work that began in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 1970s, and that later spread to mainland China, Chang became ever more reclusive as she grew older. Eileen Chang was found dead in her Los Angeles apartment in September 1995.

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