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Five Spice Street
 
 
Author
Can Xue.
Publisher Yale  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.25 x 0.95 inches
ISBN 9780300122275
Pages/Publication Date 329/2009
Daedalus Item Code 12776
This item is not available.
Description
On Five Spice Street, in an unnamed Chinese city, the inhabitants speculate on the life of a mysterious Madam X, and their endless suppositions run through a work that is at once political parable and surreal fantasia. Some think X is 50 years old; others that she is 22. Some believe she has occult powers and has enslaved the young men of the street; others say she is a trickster who manipulates common people. Who is Madam X? How has she brought the good people of Five Spice Street to their knees either in worship or in exasperation? The unknown narrator takes no sides in the endless interplay of visions, arguments, and opinions.

"The inhabitants of Five Spice Street gossip, spy and seduce one another in this lovely surrealist romp. At the center of the drama is Madame X, a mysterious figure who has a strange hold on her neighbors' imaginations. She could be anywhere from 22 to 50 years old, according to her neighbors, and her notions were deeply at odds with the traditions of Five Spice Street. Much of the fascination comes from her affair with Mr. Q.... The translators do a marvelous job of preserving the prose's lyricism, which enhances the surreal scenes that seem to be the stuff of everyday life on Five Spice Street. Xue's stridently weird and vainglorious characters are quite a bizarre retinue, and the air of paranoia and mystery is perfectly captured."Publishers Weekly

 
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