250 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997 Shen Congwen. Imperfect Paradise: Stories by Shen Congwen. Edited by Jeffrey Kinkley. Translated by Jeffrey Kinkley (and others). Fiction from Modern China. Honolulu: University ofHawai'i Press, 1995. ix, 537 pp. Hardcover $42.00, isbn 0-8248-1635-8. Paperback $19.95, isbn 0-82481715-x. Jeffrey Kinkley's earlier study of the modern Chinese writer Shen Congwen, The Odyssey ofShen Congwen, was published in die late 1980s and has since become required reading for students of modern Chinese history and literature. While affecting the ways in which Shen Congwen is read, taught, and canonized in the field of Chinese literature, that book also inaugurated a greater pedagogical need for better and, perhaps, more broadly representative English translations of Shen's works than anything that had thus far been attempted. This is the void that the present coUection, edited by Kinkley himself, is designed to ful, and it does so splendidly. The book, long overdue, is part of a weU-known translation series published by the University of Hawai'i Press, with Howard Goldblatt as its general editor. Shen Congwen is a most difficult writer to translate. His stories often seem simple and transparent but the language can be highly
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 30, 1997
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