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November 25 , 2007

The Moon Opera


In a fit of jealousy, Xiao Yanqiu, star of The Moon Opera, disfigures her understudy with boiling water. Spurned by the troupe, she turns to teaching. Twenty years later The Moon Opera is restaged, under the patronage of a rich local factory boss, who insists that Xiao Yanqiu return to the role of Chang'e. So she does, this time believing she is the immortal moon goddess. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Peking Opera, this devastating portrait shows the extent to which a desperate woman will flee earthly concerns. The reader finds himself easily drawn into the very coded universe of Chinese opera, and experiences a medley of feelings, from curiosity to a growing feeling of scorn, compassion and pity for the heroine … A real moment of pleasure.' Asia News This tiny, perfect novel concerns the hermetic world of traditional Peking Opera. Xiao Yanqi, exquisite star of a cursed piece called The Moon Opera , ruins her career by throwing boiling water in the face of her understudy. Twenty years later, a cigarette factory owner pays for the return of his idol. Wearing the water sleeves' of the Moon Goddess tips Xiaou into crazed mourning for her lost youth. There are distant echoes of All About Eve – the young goddess must always usurp the old.' The Times
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