Bamboo Shoots After the Rain
This remarkable anthology introduces the short fiction of 14 writers, major figures in the literary movements of three generations, who represent a range of class, ethnic, age, and political perspectives. It is filled with "unexpected gems", writes Scarlet Cheng in Belles Lettres, including Lin Hai-yin's story of a woman suffering under a feudal system that dominated Old China; Chiang Hsiao-yun's optimistic solutions to problems of the elderly in the rapidly changing Taiwan of the 1980; and in between, a dozen richly diverse stories of aristocrats, comrades, wives, concubines, children, mothers, sexuality, rape, female initiation, and the tensions between traditional and modern life. "This is not western feminism with an Asian accent", says Bloomsbury Review, "but a description of one culture's reality. . . . The woman protagonists survive both despite and because of their existence in a changing Taiwan."
"Though women writers of Taiwan may be unknown to an English-reading audience, their characters and struggle will be familiar and of unfailing interest. The stories vividly recreate and dramatize moments in women's lives, allowing the reader to stretch outside her own skin, however briefly. Bamboo Shoots after the Rain is a welcome and valuable addition to our growing knowledge about the inner lives and literary talents of Chinese women."
"Bamboo Shoots after the Rain not only introduces non-Chinese readers to some of the best writing from a lively, changing tradition, but thoughtfully invites us to meet the women who wrote it on terms that honor their varying artistic purposes as well as their individual lives and shared (but differently experienced) contexts. Most of all, the book challenges its readers to risk self-knowledge in a way that breaks through the absurdly crude dichotomies of self/other, of sameness/difference."
"Bamboo Shoots after the Rain is a literary first, a model of cross-cultural interpretation and intergenerational insight in which the editors admirably achieve their purposes."