From an award-winning and bestselling Chinese author, this stunningly original novel captures the spirit of a new generation of young professionals in contemporary China.
From award-winning and bestselling Chinese writer Tie Ning comes a stunningly original novel that captures the spirit of a new generation of young professionals in contemporary China. The Bathing Women follows the lives of four women—Tiao, a children’s book editor; Fan, her sister, who thinks escaping to America might solve her problems; Fei,a hedonistic and self-destructive young woman; and Youyou, a chef—from childhood during the Cultural Revolution to adulthood in the new market economy. This moving novel charts the journey of these women as they grapple with love, sibling rivalry, and, ultimately, redemption.
Beloved and renowned in China, Tie Ning’s numerous books have never before been translated into English; this publication of The Bathing Women introduces a brilliant writer of uncommon talents, vision, and compassion to American readers. Spellbinding, unforgettable, and an important chronicle of modern China, The Bathing Women is a powerful and beautiful portrait of the strength of female friendship in the face of adversity.
Tie s English-language debut traces the relationships that enmesh Tiao, a girl who lives through China s Cultural Revolution to become a successful publisher in the 1990s. Left on their own while their parents are made to labor at Reed River Farm, Tiao and her sister Fan are inseparable. Their mother, Wu, agrees to sleep with a doctor in order to get sick leave and stay at home with the children. She tries to conceal the resulting pregnancy, but the doctor s sophisticated and reckless niece, Fei, arrives and tells Tiao that her mom is a bad woman, a whore! The loner Fei and Tiao, however, soon become friends and, along with another child, Youyou, form a lifelong alliance. An accident with ominous overtones forces Tiao and Fan to examine what drives sisters apart. Eventually Fan marries and moves to America. And Tiao, after a tumultuous affair with a movie star, finds solace in a friendship with a married man and childhood friend, although the relationship raises questions about the sacrifices made so others can be happy. Set amidst shifting cultural values, this is a psychologically astute portrait of four women struggling to satisfy their appetites for food, camaraderie, family, community, sex, and love.