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Distributed for Hong Kong University Press

The Fall of the Pagoda

The Fall of the Pagoda, the first of two semi-autobiographical novels written originally by Eileen Chang in English, depicts in gripping detail her childhood years in Tianjin and Shanghai, while The Book of Change revolves around her wartime student days in Hong Kong. The Fall of the Pagoda introduces a young girl (called Lute) growing up amid many family entanglements with her divorced mother and spinster aunt during the 1930s in Shanghai’s International Settlement. Both novels shed light on the construction of selfhood in Chang’s other novels, through lengthy discussions of Chang’s difficult relationship with her selfishly demanding mother as well as of intricate dynamics in the extended families who emerged from aristocratic households of the late Qing Dynasty. While the main characters belong to the new Republican period, their worldviews and everyday life are still haunted by the shadows of the past.

308 pages | 5.5 x 8.5

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