Feathered Serpent: Book summary and reviews of Feathered Serpent by Xu Xiaobin

Feathered Serpent

by Xu Xiaobin

Feathered Serpent by Xu Xiaobin X
Feathered Serpent by Xu Xiaobin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Feb 2009
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

This beautifully portrayed epic family history spans one hundred years, from the 1890s during the later stages of the Qing Dynasty to the 1990s, traversing the experiences of five generations of women.

Yu is the central character, whose life story is woven through the lives of her grandmother, mother, sisters, and niece. She loves her parents but at a tender age realizes they do not love her. After committing two unforgivable sins, she is sent away to live in the city but is soon abandoned. Yu's life becomes a quest for love; she is fragile but resilient, lonely but determined. Now, in the 1980s, Yu becomes caught up in the political storm and comes close to love but falls short. Her last chance at getting what she desires will ultimately come at a tragic cost.

A political satirist in the guise of a mystical writer, Xu Xiaobin masterfully creates an atmosphere where distinctions are blurred; memories of the past and present are intertwined; realities and illusions are fused without a clear trace; and events occur in unspecified places but tinted with fairylike imaginations.

Xu Xiaobin is a rare talent with a vast knowledge of history, religion, and culture, and occupies a unique place in modern Chinese literature. When Feathered Serpent won China's inaugural Creative Writing Award for women's literary fiction, it was described as "a breakthrough, a record-setting novel in China's women's literature" and "the best fiction at the end of the century in China."

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"A Chinese version of One Hundred Years of Solitude." - Li Yonghong, Contemporary Literature Scene.

"Feathered Serpent may be viewed as a twenty first-century Chinese version of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment." - Chen Fumin, Literature Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"Xu Xiaobin's mysterious and meditative writing goes much further. Her apparent desire is to emphasize that which is unknown and unknowable in the human heart, in the character's destiny, and in the civilization he or she inhabits." - Jin Siyan, Chinese author.

"A unique book worth a patient reading and understanding; its richness, its depth, and its beauty all demonstrate that Chinese contemporary women's literary writing has arrived at a high level." - Chen Xiaoming, a top critic and professor of Chinese literature at Peking University.

The information about Feathered Serpent shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Xu Xiaobin

Xu Xiaobin was born in 1953 in Beijing. She spent nine years in the countryside and at a factory during the Cultural Revolution, until 1978 when she entered the Central University of Finance and Economics. She began publishing her work in 1981 and is currently a staff screenplay writer at China's Television Production Center. She has published many award-winning pieces of fiction, novellas, and collections of prose, and has given lectures on Chinese women's literature at writers' conferences in the United States, Canada, and around the world. Feathered Serpent is now being published in several countries.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...
  • Book Jacket: The Judge Hunter
    The Judge Hunter
    by Christopher Buckley
    In London 1664, Balthasar de St. Michel or "Balty" has no discernable skills besides pestering his ...
  • Book Jacket: Star of the North
    Star of the North
    by D.B. John
    It's summertime. You're looking for an absorbing thriller while you flop at the beach. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Abbot's Tale
    The Abbot's Tale
    by Conn Iggulden
    The Abbot's Tale purports to be a re-discovered manuscript written by a real historical figure,...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles

New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles illuminates the brutal history of the American South.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Summer Wives
    by Beatriz Williams

    An electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power and redemption set on an island off the New England coast.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.