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Five Spice Street

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Five Spice Street

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Five Spice Street by Can Xue
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Description

Five Spice Street tells the story of a street in an unnamed city whose inhabitants speculate on the life of a mysterious Madam X. The novel interweaves their endless suppositions into a work that is at once political parable and surreal fantasia. Some think X is 50 years old; others that she is 22. Some believe she has occult powers and has thereby enslaved the young men of the street; others think she is a clever trickster playing mind games with the common people. Who is Madam X? How has she brought the good people of Five Spice Street to their knees either in worship or in exasperation? The unknown narrator takes no sides in the endless interplay of visions, arguments, and opinions. The investigation rages, as the street becomes a Walpurgisnacht of speculations, fantasies, and prejudices. Madam X is a vehicle whereby the people bare their souls, through whom they reveal themselves even as they try to penetrate the mystery of her extraordinary powers. Five Spice Street is one of the most astonishing novels of the past twenty years. Exploring the collective consciousness of this little street of ordinary people, Can Xue penetrates the deepest existential anxieties of the present day-whether in China or in the West-where the inevitable impermanence of identity struggles with the narrative within which identity must compose itself.

Author Biography

Can Xue is the pseudonym of Deng Xiaohua, author of many novels and short works of fiction in Chinese. She lives in Beijing.
Release date NZ
April 14th, 2009
Author
Contributors
Translated by Karen Gernant Translated by Zeping Chen
Country of Publication
United States
Imprint
Yale University Press
Pages
352
Dimensions
127x197x25
ISBN-13
9780300122275
Product ID
2752409

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