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About the book
  • Published: 22 September 2016
  • ISBN: 9780734399021
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 142
  • RRP: $9.99

The People's Bard: How China Made Shakespeare its Own: Penguin Specials




The story of Shakespeare in China is one of cultural blending and reinvention. Peopled by devoted evangelists, theatre directors and dogged interpreters intent on bridging divisions of language and politics, it tracks the trajectory of modern Chinese history and the development of theatre arts

The story of Shakespeare in China is one of cultural blending and reinvention. Peopled by devoted evangelists, theatre directors and dogged interpreters intent on bridging divisions of language and politics, it tracks the trajectory of modern Chinese history and the development of theatre arts. Four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, Nancy Pellegrini pulls back the curtain on how the Bard of Avon rose from inauspicious Chinese beginnings to become the People’s Bard, exploring traditional opera-style Shakespeare productions, decades of Marxist interpretations, revolutionary translation methods and more.

  • Pub date: 22 September 2016
  • ISBN: 9780734399021
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 142
  • RRP: $9.99

Praise for The People's Bard: How China Made Shakespeare its Own: Penguin Specials

“In just 125 pages Nancy Pellegrini provides fascinating insight into the remarkable (and rarely explored) role of Shakespeare in China. This is not just a love letter to Shakespeare, it's a fantastic introduction to China past and present. Prose is fluid and information is plentiful but never overdone. A must read for anyone with an interest in Shakespeare, China or both”

Jemimah Steinfeld, Little Emperors and Material Girls: Youth and Sex in Modern China

“Shakespeare is arguably the world’s best-known cultural icon-with universal appeal. In China, his appeal, like everything else in China, is special—and Nancy Pellegrini guides us through all the complications of culture clash, language difference and political interferences with a sure and elegant touch. Her book, as intended, is an excellent introduction to a protean topic—and for most of us may well be all that we need to know. I strongly recommend it”

Alan Babington-Smith, President, The Royal Asiatic Society Beijing


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