Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Books for Adults

So, for about half an hour today, there was a picture of a ball of yarn posted to the blog that might have made it into your blog reader. I did not mean to post that to this blog, but rather to my knitting blog, so if you want to read the post that picture went to, head over to my knitting roundup...

Anyway, this weekend I read a lot of books for grownups (shocking!) so I thought I'd share a review of a book for grownups that I read this spring.

The Moon Opera Bi Feiyu

The Moon Opera has been thought to be cursed ever since the first production closed before it opened, for political reasons. But now, a rich cigarette factory owner wants it restaged and is willing to put up the capital to do so, but only under the condition that the star from the more successful second run returns to the stage. Xiao Yanqiu hasn't been onstage in 20 years, since the last time she sang the Moon Opera and scalded her understudy with a cup of boiling water.

It's a short novel, almost a novella, that gets straight to the point, with a few meditations on Beijing Opera. A little background in Beijing Opera might be helpful, but the main thing you should know is that there are some stock characters in Beijing Opera--Strong Guy, Seductress, Dutiful Woman, etc. You can tell immediately what type of character you're dealing with based on their movements, costume, and makeup. Actually, makeup alone will tell you.

Anyway... this is a story of warring divas, a character study of an aging one. It's quiet, but sucks you in. I had a few problems with some general statements the narrator makes about women, but overall, I did really like this one.

I hope we see more of Bi's works being translated.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Looks like one I'll definitely want to read, thanks for the review!