Qian Zhongshu

Qian Zhongshu

Fiction writer, essayist, editor, and poet Qian Zhongshu (1910–1998) is widely regarded as twentieth-century China’s foremost man of letters. He is best known for his novel, Fortress Besieged, and his groundbreaking study of the Chinese literary canon, Limited Views: Essays on Ideas and Letters.

Fortress Besieged

Fiction by Qian Zhongshu

First published in China in 1947, Fortress Besieged is arguably the greatest Chinese novel of the twentieth century. Set on the eve of the Sino-Japanese War, our hapless hero Fang Hung-chien, with no particular goal in life and with a bogus degree from a fake university in hand, returns home to Shanghai. On the French liner back, he meets two Chinese beauties, Miss Su and Miss Pao. Qian writes, “With Miss Pao it wasn’t a matter of heart or soul.…
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