From award-winning and bestselling Chinese writer Tie Ning comes a stunningly original novel that captures the spirit of a new generation of young professionals in contemporary China. The Bathing Women follows the lives of four women - Tiao, a children's book editor; Fan, her sister, who thinks escaping to America might solve her problems; Fei,a hedonistic and self-destructive young woman; and Youyou, a chef - from childhood during the Cultural Revolution to adulthood in the new market economy. This moving novel charts the journey of these women as they grapple with love, sibling rivalry, and, ultimately, redemption.
Beloved and renowned in China, Tie Ning's numerous books have never before been translated into English; this publication of The Bathing Women introduces a brilliant writer of uncommon talents, vision, and compassion to American readers. Spellbinding, unforgettable, and an important chronicle of modern China, The Bathing Women is a powerful and beautiful portrait of the strength of female friendship in the face of adversity.
For those who were born outside of communism, The Bathing Women sheds light on some of the Cultural Revolution’s tragedies and effects on young people, but it is not political strife that marks this work as noteworthy – it is the careful exploration of love, loss, and the challenges of friendship and sisterhood that extend across time and culture which leave a lasting impression. (Reviewed by Karen Rigby).
Set amidst shifting cultural values, this is a psychologically astute portrait of four women struggling to satisfy their appetites for food, camaraderie, family, community, sex, and love.
Starred Review. Ning masterfully pins down the kaleidoscope of emotions aroused by her characters’ actions, and moments of pain and conflict are colored with heartrending beauty. Her characters make desperate, often self-destructive decisions, but it seems as though they have no choice but to hurtle toward their future.
Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Laureate
If I were to pick the ten best literary works in the world of the past ten years, I would definitely rank The Bathing Women among them.
Xinran, author of Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother and The Good Women of China
Tie Ning's unique novel about three Chinese women and their struggles with families and men in today's fast-changing China is as gorgeous as the Cezanne painting the novel takes its title from.
Hannah Pakula, author of The Last Empress: Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China
A probing and gracefully written portrait of an extended Chinese family, related by blood and mystery, in which the author explores areas of human behavior traditionally considered off-limits: the intimate and sexual lives of ordinary Chinese women.
Short story writer, Chinese novelist and the youngest, first female President of the Chinese Writers Association (elected at age 49 in 2006), Tie Ning has long written about ordinary female protagonists who are often from rural backgrounds. From her 1982 story Oh, Xiangxue, which won an Excellent Short Story award and featured a country girl as the protagonist, to signature works such as How Long is Forever (1999, published in a Reader's Digest edition in 2010), which pits an innocent, traditional young woman against adverse conditions, and Da Yu Nv (2000), a novel which depicts themes of love, infidelity, and tension between sisters, Ning has sought to create honest portraits of women, exploring their pain and desire with empathy. In a 2006 china.org article, Ning says, "I hope I can write out the beauty in human feelings and human relationships in a secluded environment, such as rural...
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...