Raise the Red Lantern: Three Novellas by Su Tong, translated by Michael S. Duke [in AsianWeek]
It’s no wonder that Chinese film auteur Zhang Yimou chose the title novella for his film of the same name, about four desperate women vying for the attention of their shared wealthy husband. Tong is an enticing storyteller, deftly capturing the dissolution of three different families in each of the novellas. In “Nineteen Thirty-Four Escapes,” a greedy father’s desertion of his small-village family for city life brings his own eventual downfall. And in “Opium Family,” an entire town is brought down by the very opium that brings the village unexpected wealth.
Published: 2004 (paperback reprint; United States)