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From the bestselling Chinese author of RAISE THE RED LANTERN

Set during the fall-out of the Cultural Revolution, these bizarre and delicate stories capture the collision of the old China of vanished dynasties, with communism and today’s tiger economy.

The mad woman on the bridge wears a historical gown which she refuses to take off. In the height of summer she stands madly on the bridge. Until a young female doctor, bewitched by the beauty of the mad woman’s dress, plots to take it from her, with tragic consequences.


What i admire most is Su Tong's style ...delicate yet bizarre. His strokes are restrained but merciless. He is a true literary talent.

Anchee Min

Su Tong writes beautiful, dangerous prose.

Meg Wolitzer

For RAISE THE RED LANTERN, 'A remarkable story, subtle and profound'

The New York Times

Sensual and tragic

Sunday Times

Su Tong's evocation of one family's destiny in 1930s China is stark and vivid in the extreme. A chilling and macabre tale, characteristically told with imagination and unflinching honesty

Time Out

For MY LIFE AS EMPEROR: Su Tong's Xie Empire is a dreamlike, beautiful, brutal place ...his prose is full of gorgeous images

Sunday Times

Praise for RICE: Su Tong has fashioned a cruel, heartrending and enormously passionate assault on the traditions of the Western novel. There's no love here; no redemption, no triumph of the individual. Unless you count the triumph inherent in Su Tong's overwhelming imaginative virtuosity

Rick Moody

Breath-taking ... Su Tong renders these people so vividly they possess of us, the individuality that they deny one another

Los Angeles Times

Scorching ...spinning a plot featuring blackmail, adultery, incest and scandal, Su Tong creates visceral drama that moves rapidly in Goldblatt's fluid translation

Publishers' Weekly Starred review

A riveting melodrama ... page by page, the novel stuns us with a sequence of hallucinatory, disturbing inventions ...Balzac and Zola would have recognized a kindred spirit in Su Tong

Kirkus Reviews

These are stories that will sneak into the back of your brain and lurk there long after you are finished reading.

Global Review

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    August 1, 2008

    Black Swan

    304 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    February 1, 2011

    Transworld Digital

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Su Tong

How the Ceremony Ends/The Water Demon (Storycuts)
Dance of Heartbreak/The Diary for August (Storycuts)
Goddess Peak/The Q of Hearts (Storycuts)
Atmospheric Pressure (Storycuts)
Home in May (Storycuts)
Madwoman on the Bridge (Storycuts)
On Saturdays (Storycuts)
The Giant Baby (Storycuts)
The Private Banquet (Storycuts)
Thieves (Storycuts)
Weeping Willow (Storycuts)
The Boat to Redemption
Binu and the Great Wall


No Middle Name
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
Men Without Women
Paris For One And Other Stories
Six Bedrooms
The Pier Falls
The Shore
Uncommon Type
The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View
Homesick For Another World
The Start of Something
Snowdrift and Other Stories (includes three new recently discovered short stories)
The Tsar of Love and Techno
A Snow Garden and Other Stories
Make Something Up
Collected Stories
First Love, Last Rites
The Lemon Table