Fan Wu February Flowers Picador, 2007(2006)
（Cited from http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~kuro999/little/little20.html）
The ObserverのHephzibah Anderson氏のレヴュー；
Far into the cold mountain a stone trail winds aslant,
Where white clouds rise a house appears,
Stopping my carriage, I sit to admire the late maple forest,
The frosted leaves are redder than February flowers.
Fan Wu's February Flowers (Picador £12.99, pp242) is a deceptively light first novel, whose psychic terrain is the hinterland between girlhood and womanhood, lust and love, tradition and progress. A story of sexual awakening in present-day China, it centres on Ming, a divorcee in her late twenties. As she prepares to leave for graduate study in the US, she looks back on her student days in the early Nineties, dwelling in particular on an intense friendship forged with an older, wilder girl named Yan.
Yan opened bookish Ming's eyes to sexy dressing, cigarettes and heartbreak. She also roused troubling emotions, though back then, propaganda helped to promote the view that homosexuality was, like Aids, a Western, capitalist sickness; the university library contained nothing on the subject.
As her heroine muddles through, Fan Wu quietly and unobtrusively conveys the seismic shifts that Chinese society has undergone in a matter of decades. Ming's fondest childhood memories are of the farm where her teacher parents were exiled during the Cultural Revolution - miserable times for them, she knows, yet joyous for her.
As a teenager, she read Byron and Shelley, banned until not so long ago, poets whose words shape her romantic imagination. It's grand, dramatic love she expects and the dates her college room-mates giggle over seem babyish by comparison, yet about sex she knows nothing at all.
Just a decade on, bars that tolerate gays have sprung up and Ming has to tell her mother that divorce is no longer a stigma. 'China isn't America,' she replies. Meanwhile, the nation's landscape is also shifting and the house where Ming lives within sight of her alma mater is about to be knocked down to make way for yet another high-rise block.
Though at first glimpse, it may seem like yet another tale of forbidden love, this subtle and deftly paced novel is, ultimately, less a story about sexual awakening than sheer awakening. Ming might have had to move to the US to complete the process, yet the country she's left behind is already stirring.
Karin van HeerwaardenによるFan Wuへのインタヴュー
Yang Erche Namu & Christine Mathieu Leaving Mother Lake: A Childhood at the Edge of the World Abacus, 2004
- 作者: Yang Erche Namu,Christine Mathieu
- 出版社/メーカー: Abacus
- 発売日: 2005/12/01
- メディア: ペーパーバック
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