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Half a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang
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Half a Lifelong Romance

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Half a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang
Paperback $17.00
Mar 08, 2016 | ISBN 9780307387547

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    Mar 08, 2016 | ISBN 9780307387547

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  • Mar 08, 2016 | ISBN 9780375425257

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“The most mature and fully achieved novel by midcentury writer Eileen Chang, whose work was beloved by readers in Hong Kong and Taiwan, yet banned in mainland China until the 1990s. . . . A small masterpiece of understatement and indirection. It has a grave tenderness, alert to the manners and gestures of bourgeois family life, almost reminiscent of Henry James or Edith Wharton. It’s an excellent introduction to the complex work of an underappreciated writer.” —The New York Times Book Review

“An enveloping, haunting and insightful read, rich in Chang’s trademark passionate prose.” —The Wall Street Journal

Half a Lifelong Romance is broad in its scope and exceptionally moving in its characterizations, painting a picture of life in China in the 1930s. . . . Chang’s legacy as one of the most important Chinese writers of the 20th century is fully realized in this work. . . . Chang’s characters’ tragic yet sometimes comical attempts to navigate unfair expectations and maintain illusions of proper manners resonate with all readers regardless of background. These experiences are even reminiscent of the struggles of Jane Austen’s protagonists.” —The Kansas City Star
“The silences in this novel, set in 1930s Shanghai, emerge from an extraordinary sensitivity to language and its limitations. So many crucial words unheard or unsaid—a host of flames kindling and dying in silence.” —Helen Oyeyemi in The Week 
“This novel, originally serialized in China in 1950, is translated into English for the first time: the story of star-crossed lovers in 1930s and ’40s Shanghai, kept apart by societal taboos and the scheming of their families.” —Newsday
“A heartbreaking tale of a Chinese couple torn apart, this poignant read centers on feelings of passion, hope and true love. It’s full of emotion, and rave early reviews suggest it’s about to become a beloved classic.” —Brit + Co
“Translator Kingsbury’s introduction discusses the book’s evolution and the circumstances of its publication, which makes for a compelling story on its own. . . . Though this is, according to Kingsbury’s telling, Chang’s ‘most popular novel,’ this edition marks its first English translation. And there’s plenty to savor. Chang’s attention to detail is meticulous, and the way the plot navigates societal mores and taboos calls to mind the work of Edith Wharton. . . . Over the course of the novel, romance and regret are interlaced, each one given the appropriate weight. With compelling protagonists and a host of memorable supporting characters, this novel tells an emotionally complex story with a number of powerful moments.” —Kirkus Reviews

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