Qiu Xiaolong Death of a Red Heroine

ISBN 13: 9780340897508

Death of a Red Heroine

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9780340897508: Death of a Red Heroine

In this Anthony Award-winning debut, Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police must find the murderer of a National Model worker, and then risk his own life and career to see that justice is done. A Loyal Character Dancer is the latest in Qiu’s Shanghai series featuring Inspector Chen.

"A marvelously assured debut. . . . Engrossing, immensely readable."—The Wall Street Journal

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Review:

By any standard, Inspector Chen Cao is a novelty in the world of police procedurals. A published poet and translator of American and English mystery novels, he has been assigned by the Chinese government, under Deng Xiaoping's cadre policy, to a "productive" job with the Special Cases Bureau of the Shanghai Police Department.

Shanghai in the mid-1990s is a city caught between reverence for the past and fascination with a tantalizing, market-driven present. When the body of a young "national model worker," revered for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up in a canal, Chen is thrown into the midst of these opposing forces. As he struggles to unravel the hidden threads of this paragon's life, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. With party-line-spouting superiors above him and detectives who resent his quick promotion beneath him, Chen finds himself wondering whether justice is a concept at all meaningful in late-20th-century China.

Death of a Red Heroine is a book hovering uneasily between the spheres of fiction and fact, creativity and didacticism. For much of the novel, author Qiu Xiaolong seems more intent on driving home the actions and consequences of the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath than on the slowly unfolding plot. Tedious repetitions of the fates, under Mao, of "educated youths" joust with both the actions of the detectives and Chen's "poetic" ruminations, which, unfortunately, are infected by precisely the stiffness and arbitrariness Qiu is at pains to decry in his historical passages. The moving couplets Chen favors are potentially fascinating insights into the interaction between ancient and modern China, but instead of provoking the reader into reflection, Qiu offers reductive explanations of each and every poem.

The moments when Qiu concentrates on invoking atmosphere are both illuminating and rewarding: Detective Yu's wife's pride and pleasure in having brought home a dozen crabs at "state price" are movingly well crafted, all the more so because Qiu seems almost unaware of what he is doing. Rather than lecturing on the economic dilemmas of the modern worker, he lets Peiqin's simple happiness speak for itself. In the last quarter of the book, Qiu seems to find his stride, though his writing style remains undeniably awkward. Here Chen expands and relaxes, and with him, the novel. Qiu's debut, though anything but polished, holds the promise of better things to come. --Kelly Flynn

About the Author:

Qiu Xiaolong has published prizewinning poetry and criticism in China, has won awards and fellowships in the United States, and now teaches Chinese literature at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Qiu Xiaolong
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Book Description Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Repr.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Now a BBC Radio 4 Drama Series. Shanghai in 1990. An ancient city in a country that despite the massacre of Tiananmen Square is still in the tight grip of communist control. Chief Inspector Chen, a poet with a sound instinct for self-preservation, knows the city like few others. When the body of a prominent Communist Party member is found, Chen is told to keep the party authorities informed about every lead. Also, he must keep the young woman s murder out of the papers at all costs. When his investigation leads him to the decadent offspring of high-ranking officials, he finds himself instantly removed from the case and reassigned to another area. Chen has a choice: bend to the party s wishes and sacrifice his morals, or continue his investigation and risk dismissal from his job and from the party. Or worse . Bookseller Inventory # AA69780340897508

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Qiu Xiaolong
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Book Description Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Repr.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Now a BBC Radio 4 Drama Series.Shanghai in 1990. An ancient city in a country that despite the massacre of Tiananmen Square is still in the tight grip of communist control. Chief Inspector Chen, a poet with a sound instinct for self-preservation, knows the city like few others. When the body of a prominent Communist Party member is found, Chen is told to keep the party authorities informed about every lead. Also, he must keep the young woman s murder out of the papers at all costs. When his investigation leads him to the decadent offspring of high-ranking officials, he finds himself instantly removed from the case and reassigned to another area.Chen has a choice: bend to the party s wishes and sacrifice his morals, or continue his investigation and risk dismissal from his job and from the party. Or worse . . . Bookseller Inventory # AA69780340897508

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Book Description Sceptre. Book Condition: New. 2006. New Ed. Paperback. Prizewinning debut of an extraordinary new voice in crime writing. Series: Inspector Chen Cao. Num Pages: 480 pages, n/a. BIC Classification: FF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 32. Weight in Grams: 344. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780340897508

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Book Description Sceptre, 2006. Book Condition: New. 2006. New Ed. Paperback. Prizewinning debut of an extraordinary new voice in crime writing. Series: Inspector Chen Cao. Num Pages: 480 pages, n/a. BIC Classification: FF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 32. Weight in Grams: 344. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780340897508

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Book Description Hodder/Hachette, 2007. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Shanghai in 1990. An ancient city in a country that despite the massacre of Tiananmen Square is still in the tight grip of communist control. Chief Inspector Chen, a poet with a sound instinct for self-preservation, knows the city like few others. When the body of a prominent Communist Party member is found, Chen is told to keep the party authorities informed about every lead. Also, he must keep the young woman`s murder out of the papers at all costs. When his investigation leads him to the decadent offspring of high-ranking officials, he finds himself instantly removed from the case and reassigned to another area.Chen has a choice: bend to the party`s wishes and sacrifice his morals, or continue his investigation and risk dismissal from his job and from the party. Or worse . . . Printed Pages: 480. Bookseller Inventory # 48944

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