Red Ivy, Green Earth Mother

Red Ivy, Green Earth Mother

by AI Bei

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Three stories and a novella are the first of this writer's works to be translated into English and offer a good introduction to a startling new voice. Ai Bei's female protagonists come from all ranks of contemporary Chinese society--intellectuals, prison guards, latrine cleaners--but each strives equally hard to define herself, both to herself and to the people around her. To capture the complexities of a milieu in which people mouth modern sexual platitudes but act according to old ones, Ai Bei slips back and forth between realism, stream-of-consciousness and a kind of hallucinatory superrealism. In ``Bala's Dream,'' a city woman in search of a ``purer'' culture is led up a mountain by a scornful travel guide and narrowly escapes rape in a village mating ritual. In the novella, ``Red Ivy,''do not change this to title novella/another story is green earth mother/pk a prominent Party member's niece finds employment in a women's prison; life there is vicious yet not as alienating as on the outside, where women work next to men but bow to their double standards. Ai Bei's stories are not about blame or the lack of it; her characters, female and male, are trying to pick their way through a cultural landscape changing so fast that it's different every time they look at it. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Three short stories (``Bala's Dream,'' ``Green Earth Mother,'' and ``The Final Myth'') and one novella (``Red Ivy'') make up this thin volume. All the stories deal with women's difficulties, especially with men. Some are rather overblown, surreal fantasies, some realistic, but all portray the seamy, unpleasant side of life in China. Although the style is often engrossing if overwrought, the emotionally charged characters seem remote and strange despite their hypersensitivity. Popular in China before she became a dissident, Ai now lives in exile in the United States. She is an important contemporary stylist who deserves to be heard.-- Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, N.Y.

Product Details

iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)

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