Love in a Fallen City, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Eileen Chang is one of the great writers of twentieth-century China, where she enjoys a passionate following both on the mainland and in Taiwan.

At the heart of Chang's achievement is her short fiction-tales of love, longing, and the shifting and endlessly treacherous shoals of family life.

Written when she was still in her twenties, these extraordinary stories combine an unsettled, probing, utterly contemporary sensibility, keenly alert to sexual politics and psychological ambiguity, with an intense lyricism that echoes the classics of Chinese literature.

Love in a Fallen City, the first collection in English of this dazzling body of work, introduces readers to the stark and glamorous vision of a modern master.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Anthologies (non-poetry)
  • ISBN: 9780141189369

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Eileen Chang's <i>Love in a Fallen City</i> is a collection of elegant short stories about lives and loves in two fallen cities, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The major characters are all Chinese, but differences in their subcultural/linguistic/national backgrounds are often catalysts for contrast and conflict. Themes of anomie, isolation and decadence abound.In all of the stories, Chang's narrative voice is distinctive, even in translation (which, speaking of, is very well done indeed). It's a sinuous voice that curls like a wisp of smoke around a tai-tai's slim black cigarette holder. Chang never overstates, never explains the obvious, and never relaxes into sentimentality or brutality -- although she certainly courts more danger with the latter than the former. I recommend these stories very highly.

Review by

These short stories by Eileen Chang are very good for the most part; Chang obviously has an understanding of the format greater than many other authors. However, unlike other reviewers here, I find her prose a hindrance. Chang's style is distinctive, certainly, but it feels rather empty. This is especially true of her dialogue where her characters all seem to flit around issues instead of talking with any real substance. Perhaps Chang's writing merely reflects Chinese behaviour?Even if it does I found reading these shorts frustrating. Chang's stories are very good but her way of writing left me thinking they were sadly insubstantial.

Also in the Penguin Modern Classics series   |  View all