La Cangue D’or

La Cangue D’or
Original work 金鎖記
Author Eileen Chang
Translator Emmanuelle Péchenart
Publisher Bleu De Chine
Publication year 1999
   Page 105
Language French
ISBN/ISSN 2-910884-24-4
  • Abstract
  • Content

Eileen Chang was a legendary Chinese woman of talent. Her real name was Chang Ying and she was born in 1920 in Shanghai. The family on her father’s side was direct descendents of Li Hongzhang, a prominent official in the imperial court at the end of Qing Dynasty. Placed in a time of epochal transference of the old and the new, her father indulged himself in western materialism; residing in western mansions, riding in automobiles, as well as privileges bestowed by his ancestors, smoking opium, acquiring concubines, whereas her mother, Huang Suying, once studied in Europe. Such is the world in which Chang grew up, a world where the traditional met modernity, Chinese culture clashing with western civilization. As such, her novels were all shrouded by an atmosphere of despair; she sympathized with the men and women struggling in the conventional families and gave a voice to their inner world. Chang’s earlier works were published mostly in Shanghai, and later works compiled and published by Crown Publishing Co Ltd in Taiwan. The Golden Cangue is one of Chang’s most important works, portraying a story of how a young naive girl, originated from a poor family and shackled by stifling family decorum, grows into a cruel old lady that dominates and manipulates other people’s happiness and lives by way of money and power, against a social backdrop of class mobility and upheavals near the end of Qing Dynasty and in the beginning of the new republic.

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