Wang Anyi Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Wang Anyi published a travelogue entitled Mu nü tong you mei li jian (mother and daughter traveling together in America) in 1986. Addressed to a Chinese audience, this book is essentially derived from notes and observations written during the author’s tour of the United States. Her first novel, Chang hen ge, was published in 1996.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Wang Anyi first started publishing her work in November, 1976; in less than a decade, she had already been recognized as a prolific writer of substantial achievement. Her short story “Ben ci lie che zhong dian zhan” (“Destination”) was chosen for the Chinese National Award for Short Stories in 1982, and her novellas Lapse of Time and Baotown won the National Award for Short Novels in 1983 and 1986 respectively. Baotown was the topic of a seminar hosted by the Writers’ Association of Shanghai shortly after its publication in 1985. The Three Loves Trilogy, written in 1986, has attracted attention as a controversial work because of its depiction of illicit or extramarital love affairs—a sensitive issue that, in China, is considered to be a “forbidden territory.”


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Hung, Eva. Introduction to Love in a Small Town. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1988. Contains an overview of Wang’s life and career up to 1987, focusing on Wang’s views on women and the authorities’ condemnation of the sexuality in the Three Loves trilogy.

Hung, Eva. Introduction to Love on a Barren Mountain. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1991. An informed discussion and analysis of the backgrounds, issues, themes, and techniques of the three novellas in the Three Loves trilogy both individually and as a progression. Argues that Wang Anyi has adopted a woman-centered attitude in her treatment of relationships between men and women.

Kinkley, Jeffrey. Preface to Lapse of Time. San Francisco: China Books and Periodicals, 1988. An introductory overview of Wang Anyi’s short fiction translated for collection in Lapse of Time. Focusing on the humanism by which Wang’s works are informed, Kinkley provides brief but useful analyses of their historical background and social contexts, as well as the author’s motivations, preoccupations, themes, techniques, and style.

Leung, Laifong. “Wang Anyi: Restless Explorer.” Morning Sun Interviews with Chinese Writers of the Lost Generation. New York: Sharpe, 1994. An insightful interview revealing how Wang searches for...

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