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Three Sisters

by Bi Feiyu

Status, marriage, desire for power: this tragicomedy contains three novellas offering intimate portraits of sisters Yumi, Yuxiu and Yuyang in 1970's Communist China. When their father loses his position in the Party for licentiousness, their struggles to better their lives takes them on very different roads. I found this hard to get into and coarse, but persevered as it is beautifully written and a real insight into China’s 'classless' society.

Extract

In more than a decade of dalliances, the Wang Family Village woman who pleased Wang Lianfang was Youqing's wife. When he wasn't dealing with village class issues, she was the subject of all his thoughts. For him she was a true bodhisattva. In bed it was as if there were no bones in her limp body, which seemed electrically charged. Yes, indeed, he'd found a true bodhisattva. In the spring of 1971, good news cascaded down on Wang like a sow expelling a litter of piglets: first he was given a son, then Yumi found a future husband, and now he was the beneficiary of the spark plug in Youqing's wife.
Translated by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-Chun Lin

Parallels

The Woman Warrier: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang
Wild Swans by Jung Chang
 

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