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Family Catastrophe

A Modernist Novel

Wang Wen-hsing

Publication Year: 1995

Wang Wen-hsing caused a sensation in Taiwan in 1972 with publication of Family Catastrophe, his first full-length novel. Many critics were outraged, called it socially irresponsible, morally corrupt, and stylistically irrational, but the novel weathered its controversial reception to become what is now widely regarded as a masterpiece in modern Chinese fiction and the benchmark of Taiwan’s Modernist movement. Often described as Joycean, Family Catastrophe is significant for its stylistic and linguistic experimentation as well as for its disturbing and universal themes. It appears now in English for the first time. Fiction From Modern China

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press


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Title and Copyright

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pp. i-vi

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Part One

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pp. 3-134

One windy afternoon, an old man with a face filled with misery quietly closed a bamboo gate, tossed a final glance at the house fenced in behind it, turned . . . and, in brisk strides, left. He walked straight ahead without looking back, all the way to the end of the alley, and disappeared...

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Part Two

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pp. 135-186

Darkness wrapped round about him. Looking in through the gaps of the bamboo fence, he saw one dim light inside the house. It was the light in the front hallway, the only light left on. The rest of the dark hallway was covered up by the shabby old curtains that had been drawn almost...

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Part Three

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pp. 187-258

He was on the train going South. A notice had come from a shelter in T’aichung two days ago with the description of an old man who had recently arrived there, a man without an ID, who had lost his sight in both eyes, and was unable to speak – most likely the result of a stroke...

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About the Author

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p. 259

Wang Wen-hsing was born in Fujian in 1939 and grew up in Taiwan. He received his B.A. from the National Taiwan University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa; he is currently a professor in the National Taiwan...

E-ISBN-13: 9780824862480
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824816186

Publication Year: 1995

OCLC Number: 794701521
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Family Catastrophe

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Subject Headings

  • Historical fiction. -- gsafd.
  • Domestic fiction. -- lcsh.
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