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  • (Out of Stock) South of the Yangtze

(Out of Stock) South of the Yangtze

Flora Qian

English , 2023/11 Proverse Hong Kong

Tags: Fiction, Novel

216 x 140 mm , 255pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-988-8833-44-3

  • US$22.00

Out Of Stock

South of the Yangtze starts with the protagonist, Qian Yinan, taking the high-speed train through the landscape of Jiangnan (“South of the Yangtze River”) with her American husband. Now in her mid-thirties, Yinan recalls her first trip along the same route in the late 1980s, as well as her Shanghai childhood with her “historical counter-revolutionary” grandfather, semi-literate grandmother, philosophy professor father and former “red guard” mother. Later in school, while receiving a nationalist education and witnessing the booming market economy, she becomes close to Jie, a classmate who aspires to join the Communist Party. And a few months before the new millennium, Yinan finds herself trapped in a secret love affair with her Mandarin-speaking high school teacher, who was once an activist during the political turmoil of 1989.

In the midst of these formative relationships, Yinan contemplates the impact of the nation’s ideology, tradition and even its written language, and pushes the boundaries of thinking which are restrained by these tools. Later, she decides to write and read in English as much as possible, and eventually leaves her home town. But what is the price to pay when she adopts a new language and a new way of thinking? After the SARS epidemic in 2003, would her reunion with a psychologically troubled Chinese American friend bring Yinan real hope for love, understanding and peace? While this thoughtful novel is a meditation on both physical migration and migration between languages, it also provides a moving portrait of China’s only child generation.  


“Told with wonderful precision, insight and vivid detail, South of the Yangtze brings to life a transformative time period through the eyes of a young woman doing her best to navigate the seismic changes in her society and her own coming of age."

—Emily Mitchell, Washington, DC; University of Maryland, USA, author of The Last Summer of the World and Viral: Stories.

“The theme of language and how it shapes consciousness underlies much of this affecting, thoughtful novel. Flora Qian vividly depicts the Shanghai childhood of her main character, Yinan, and her subsequent struggles with the culture she belongs to but must inevitably distance herself from.”

—Geoffrey Becker, Towson University, Maryland, USA, author of Hot Springs and Black Elvis.

“A beautifully crafted coming of age story of Yinan, a girl with a mature insight and bright mind. What I loved most about South of the Yangtze was what Qian describes as [Yinan’s] feeling of being a member of a diaspora in her own country.”

—Dami Jung, author of Jane, Frank and Mia, winner of the Proverse Prize 2021

Flora Qian was born and raised in Shanghai. She left home in her early twenties and has spent most of her time since then in Hong Kong. She has also lived in Washington D.C. and Singapore. Her short fiction has appeared in the Asia Literary Review, Eastlit and a few anthologies. A graduate of Fudan University in Shanghai, she has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland and an MA in Translation from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. South of the Yangtze is her first novel.

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