Wang Meng/Nancy T. Lin (translated)
Joint Publishing Co.
287 pag. paperback 14 x 21 cm
The central characters of the two novelettes are dramatically different in their personal careers. In The Butterfly, is an Old Guard of Communist Party son of a peasant, who had risen to high officialdom and had experienced all the cruelties of wars and revolutions as well as their rewards.
In It's Hard for Us to Meet, is a Chinese American woman professor , who came from a family of intellectual distinction and divided her life exclusively between the ancient charms of the city of Beijing and the modern facilities of metropolitan U.S..
Yet they are suprisingly alike in essential aspect; they share the same psychological conflicts that beset a self-searching soul under the stress of todays's trubulent world.
It's the common theme - the process of self-alienation and self-identification of a soul - that prompts the translators to bind the two novellettes in one book.
The authors combines Western symbolism and "stream of consciousness" technique with the tradition realism of China. The result is a picture highly fluid , rich in unexpected contrasts, colorful in imageries and symbols and poignant with philosophical significance.