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The Bathing Women

by Tie Ning

An interesting premise - the lives and loves of three girls growing up in a rapidly changing China – written for a young female Chinese audience. A rare reading opportunity as contemporary Chinese women writers are not often translated into English – so I was keen. Unfortunately much was lost in translation and the story didn’t work for me (I found the sex scenes fairly dreadful). But others have found a gentle humanity which they enjoyed.


Extract

He took out his stethoscope – she could sense that he had taken it out. He extended it toward her and when the ice-cold thing touched her flesh and pressed down over her heart, she reached up her hand and pressed down on his hand - the hand that held the stethoscope - and then she turned off the light
Translated by Hongling Zhang and Jason Sommer

Parallels

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
 

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