Chinese Writer Cements a Legacy

The New York Times profiles late writer Eileen Chang:

Mr. Soong, 61 and the blogger behind the popular site EastSouthWestNorth, still lives in the apartment he once shared with Chang, his parents, his sister, his grandmother and two servants. It was there that he discovered “boxes and boxes, dressers and dressers” of neglected documents sent to the family after Chang’s death. His father, Stephen Soong, was her literary agent.

“It was like searching through an avalanche,” he said. Among the papers he unearthed were several unpublished works that he is now making public.

“Small Reunions,” a Chinese-language novel written in 1976, was released last year and has sold nearly a million copies in China. “The Private Sayings of Eileen Chang,” a collection of notes and correspondence, was released at the Hong Kong Book Fair in July.

Two English-language novels from the 1960s, “The Fall of the Pagoda” and “The Book of Change,” were published by Hong Kong University Press this year. Chinese-language translations were released in Taiwan and Hong Kong last month. Chang is probably best known for “Love in a Fallen City,” and the short story that was transformed into Ang Lee’s sex-filled spy film “Lust, Caution” in 2007. But she was regarded as a literary giant long before.

October 1, 2010 3:48 PM
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