Xu Xu’s Literary Journey through Twentieth-Century China
A Note on the Translation
The Jewish Comet
The All-Souls Tree
When Ah Heung Came to Gousing Road
A Chinese Romantic’s Journey through Time and Space: Xu Xu and Transnational Chinese Romanticism
"In Xu Xu’s stories, the narrators can recall the time that’s gone, and through their sorrow find “luster and warmth”."
—The Asian Review of Books
4/5 stars "Written in a witty, light-hearted tone, the story highlights how Hong Kong was romanticised as a city of new beginnings and businesses – a place where diligence, hard work and integrity could pay off. This is where many like Xu Xu, sick with longing and trauma and facing a harsh new world, could begin to heal themselves."
—South China Morning Post
"Unknown writers are only unknown to those who cannot read them. Windows open when a translator unlocks them. That has happened here. Green’s engaging translation of stories by novelist Xu Xu allows readers of English to understand—finally—why he is so popular and important in China and Hong Kong. The collection includes a wide, wonderful range of topics, times, geographies, and styles. These are stories that illuminate and captivate."
—Howard Goldblatt, a Guggenheim Fellow, is an internationally renowned translator of Chinese fiction, including the novels of Mo Yan, the 2012 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
"With style, humor, warmth, and pathos, Xu Xu turned the mid-century Chinese experience of revolution, war, and displacement into compulsively readable pop modernist romances. In this volume of translations, Frederik Green brings this unique and imaginative modern voice and his world to vivid life for English readers for the first time."
—Andrew F. Jones, Louis B. Agassiz Professor of Chinese, University of California, Berkeley
"Xu Xu was a writer poised between worlds, a chronicler of exile and diaspora, witness to the vibrant ferment of a British Hong Kong, and the phantoms that haunt what was once a Japanese Taiwan. Foreshadowing many a Chinese ghost story, and foreseeing many a cross-cultural romance, Xu’s stories were both snapshots of the past and uncannily visionary predictions of our present."
—Jonathan Clements, author of A Brief History of China
"One of the most widely read Chinese authors of the mid-20th century finally available in English translation. A delight for scholars and general readers."
—Chris Wen-chao Li, D.Phil., Oxford University. Professor of Chinese Linguistics, San Francisco State University
"Xu Xu’s fiction opens a window onto Shanghai’s roaring 1930s, China’s War of Resistance against Japan, and the post-war experience of Chinese exiles in Hong Kong. Highly recommended."
—Jianye He, Librarian for Chinese Collections, University of California, Berkeley
"An intriguing selection of short fiction by one of the great storytellers of modern China and postwar Hong Kong, elegantly translated and prefaced with an insightful and engaging introduction."
—Jennifer Feeley, Ph.D, Yale University and translator of Xi Xi’s Not Written Words