Frederik H. Green

Jun 16, 2020

Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu

Modern Tales of a Chinese Romantic

Stone Bridge Press 2020

Xu Xu (1908-1980) was one of the most widely read Chinese authors of the 1930s to 1960s. His popular urban gothic tales, his exotic spy fiction, and his quasi-existentialist love stories full of nostalgia and melancholy offer today’s readers an unusual glimpse into China’s turbulent twentieth century. The translations in Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu: Modern Tales of a Chinese Romantic. (Stone Bridge Press, 2020)--spanning a period of some thirty years, from 1937 until 1965--bring to life some of Xu Xu’s most representative short fictions from prewar Shanghai and postwar Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Afterword illustrates that Xu Xu’s idealistic tendencies in defiance of the politicization of art exemplify his affinity with European romanticism and link his work to global literary modernity. Frederik H. Green is an associate professor of Chinese at San Francisco State University. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on the literature and culture of the Qing dynasty and the Republican Period, Sino-Japanese cultural relations, post-socialist Chinese cinema, and contemporary Chinese art. He holds a BA in Chinese Studies from Cambridge University and an MPhil and PhD in Chinese literature from Yale University. He is a translator of Chinese and associate professor of Chinese at San Francisco State University.

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