Juwen Zhang

Jun 16, 2022

The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales

Princeton University Press 2022

The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales (Princeton University Press, 2022) by Dr. Juwen Zhang brings together forty-two magical Chinese tales, most appearing for the first time in English. These stories have been carefully selected from more than a thousand originally published in the early twentieth century under the pseudonyms Lin Lan and Lady Lin Lan—previously unknown in the West, and now acclaimed as the Brothers Grimm of China.

The birth of the tales began in 1924, when one author, Li Xiaofeng, published a set of literary stories under the Lin Lan pen name, an alias that would eventually be shared by an editorial team. Together, this group gathered fairy tales (tonghua) from rural regions across China. Combining traditional oral Chinese narratives with elements from the West, the selections in this collection represent different themes and genres—from folk legends to comic tales. Characters fall for fairies, experience predestined love, and have love/hate relationships with siblings. Garden snails and snakes transform into cooking girls, and dragon daughters construct houses. An introduction offers historical and social context for understanding the role that the Lin Lan stories played in modern China.

This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

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Miranda Melcher

Miranda Melcher (Ph.D., Defense Studies, Kings College, London) studies post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with deep analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

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