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The death of woman Wang / Jonathan D. Spence

Main Author Spence, Jonathan D., 1936- Country Estados Unidos. Edition 1st ed Publication New York : The Viking Press, 1978 Description XVII, 169 p. : il. ; 22 cm ISBN 0-670-26232-3 CDU 396(510)
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Monografia Biblioteca Fernão Mendes Pinto
BFMP 396(510) - S Não requisitável | Not for loan 457287
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Award-winning author Jonathan D. Spence paints a vivid picture of an obscure place and time: provincial China in the seventeenth century. Life in the northeastern county of T'an-ch'eng emerges here as an endless cycle of floods, plagues, crop failures, banditry, and heavy taxation. Against this turbulent background a tenacious tax collector, an irascible farmer, and an unhappy wife act out a poignant drama at whose climax the wife, having run away from her husband, returns to him, only to die at his hands. Magnificently evoking the China of long ago, The Death of Woman Wang also deepens our understanding of the China we know today.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Kirkus Book Review

Four years ago Jonathan Spence's Emperor of China: Self-Portrait of K'ang-hsi scored as a tour de force of creative scholarship and literary reconstruction; simply for reading, the present volume is less satisfying--a composite, not a sustained narrative--but it has the distinction of burrowing into the lives of ordinary people in one rural fastness of 17th-century China. ""T'an-ch'eng is only a tiny area, and it has long been destitute and ravaged,"" the magistrate Huang Liu-hung found in 1670. Corroborating evidence comes from the Local History of Feng K'o-ts'an who, Spence speculates, may have been influenced by his own ""melancholy experiences"" as a disgraced academic (the kind of sidelight, abundantly present, that is both an enhancement and a distraction). Comprising a third source are the sophisticated, oblique, often sardonic stories of P'u Sung-ling, which Spence employs to give events an inner dimension. One sequence focuses on the insoluble problems of tax collection, another on the rigors and devices of widowhood, a third on family feuding, while the fourth centers on the title story--an incident enlarged by supplying an abject runaway wife, the woman called Wang, with a macabre deathbed vision drawn from one of P'u Sung-ling's tales, a device that one can accept as literary license or decry as scholarly piracy. What is incontestable is the cruelty of a system that, allowing for neither repentance nor forgiveness, metes out lashes for each degree of infraction of the social code--and Spence's skill in summoning forth its victims. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jonathan D. Spence was born in Surrey, England on August 11, 1936. He received a B.A. in history from Clare College, Cambridge University and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He was Sterling Professor of History at Yale University from 1993 to 2008. As a historian specializing in Chinese history, he wrote several books including The Search for Modern China, The Death of Woman Wang, and The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. The Gate of Heavenly Peace won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Henry D. Vursell Memorial Award of the American Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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