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First published in 1947, Cold Nights is set in Chungking at the end of World War II. It describes the frustration of incompatible relationships among mother, son, and daughter-in-law as they deteriorate amidst the social weariness and ennui which pervaded China in the 1940s. Victimized by circumstances and by themselves, they are average people seeking average lives; their plight is shared with the rest of humanity and is depicted with compassion tempered with unflinching realism.
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Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001, Pa Chin (b.1904) has long been one of the leading figures of twentieth-century Chinese literature. He is best known for the influential trilogy Family, Spring, and Autumn. Cold Nights, twice adapted into films (Cantonese in 1955 and Mandarin in 1984), grapples with the emotional entanglement of Chinese intellectuals with the Japanese invasion of China as background. It has been widely hailed by critics as another masterpiece by Pa Chin. This bilingual edition contains a new critical introduction by Paul G. Pickowicz, professor of history and Chinese studies at the University of California, San Diego.About the Author:
Nathan K. Mao is professor of English at Shippensburg State University, Pennsylvania. Liu Ts'un-yan is Professor Emeritus in Chinese at the Australian National University.
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