Ye Guangqin was born in Beijing in 1948, the thirteenth child of Manchu parents. At the age of twenty, during the height of the Cultural Revolution, she was seconded to work as a nurse in the western city of Xi’an. It was here that she developed a fascination with the culture of Shaanxi Province, and in particular, the fauna and villagers of the Qinling Mountains – which became the subject of Mountain Stories, the first English-language publication of her work, published in 2017 by Valley Press.
On becoming a full-time professional writer in the 1990s, she drew on her royal background to create historical tales of Old Peking as well as elaborating on local legends from her adopted area. Ye Guangqin’s Greenwood Riverside, a bestselling account of the executed mountain bandit leader Wei Futang, was shortlisted for the Mao Dun Literary Prize before being adapted into a television serial.
“I am talking to a peasant about the problem of being on camera” – read a sample story from the book here.
China’s Qinling Mountains are as rich in legend as they are in wildlife. In these six tales from nationally bestselling author Ye Guangqin, tigers, pandas, monkeys and bears live alongside the region’s equally various human residents – some striving to ‘keep apace with the times’, others struggling to save their way of life from the onslaught of nationwide change. Both have much to learn from each other.
Beautifully highlighting the absurdity of everyday human interactions, and the potential for tragedy when the lives of animals become entangled with ours, Mountain Stories is a stunning, enthralling collection that will transport international readers to a rarely-seen part of our world; the perfect introduction to a major new voice in world literature.
This book is part of Shaanxi Stories, a series of translated works by acclaimed authors from the Shaanxi province of China, produced by Valley Press in collaboration with Northwest University, Xi’an. The series editors are Hu Zongfeng and Robin Gilbank.
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