REVIEW: “Woman Dancing Under Stars” by Teng Xiaolan

Review of Teng Xiaolan, Yu Yan Chen (trans.), “Woman Dancing Under Stars”, in Jin Li and Dai Congrong, ed., The Book of Shanghai, (Comma Press, 2020): 39-60 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology).

A chance encounter between the narrator and Zhuge Wei leads to an unlikely friendship between the young newlywed and the old widow.

The story both reinforces and questions stereotypes of women, but the ways in which the women cannot escape their gender roles makes the entire story sad, rather than free, in the end.

But it came with four informative footnotes, two of which taught me vocabulary and one of which taught me some important cultural info (the fourth was about tea), always appreciated!

(First published in Zhong Shan, 2010).