An extraordinary literary experiment inﬂuenced by Dream of the Red Chamber.
Author’s personal favorite。
Shanghai Literature Award Best Novel.
Jiang Yingbo, the eldest daughter of the Jiang family lives a life full of ups and downs. She had her age of innocence, but later gets fettered by the triviality of life; she used to be overwhelmed by passions, but becomes busy coping with various difficulties after marriage. Her brothers and sisters, each with distinct personalities and life choices, journey to their own destinations, some preserve idealism, while others bend their heads towards life.
The Culture Revolution is still a key factor which influences those characters’ life. The archways on the old street is a symbol, representing all the vicissitudes the Jiang family experiences during 30 years.
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Liu Xinwu is one of China’s most prominent contemporary writers. Born in Chengdu, he spent his childhood in Chongqing and later moved to Beijing. He previously worked as a middle school teacher, an editor at Beijing Publishing House, and chief editor of renowned literary magazine People’s Literature. His short story The Class Teacher was one of the earliest examples of Scar Literature – a literary movement that reflected on the Cultural Revolution and its influence. His novels The Bell Tower and Drum Tower and Archways on the Old Street won the Mao Dun Literature Prize and the Shanghai Literature Award for Best Novel respectively. Liu Xinwu’s work has been translated into many languages including French, Japanese, German, Russian, Italian, Korean, Swedish, Czech and Hebrew, to considerable critical acclaim.