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The Butcher's Wife (Peter Owen Modern Classics) Paperback – October 21, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Peter Owen Modern Classic
  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Ltd (October 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 072061161X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720611618
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Li Ang was born in Taiwan in 1952. After graduating from college in Taiwan she studied drama in the United States in the 1970s. Her fiction is critical of traditional Chinese culture and controversial for its portrayal of cultural superstition, violence, and brutally abusive sexuality.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kit Welsh on September 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
So this isn't exactly what I'd call a happy book. And by "this isn't exactly what I'd call a happy book," I mean it's depressing as all get out. I totally recommend it, but be warned, the book contains graphic details of rape, abuse, violence and gore. If you can't handle any of those items, I'd sit this one out.

Li Ang, the auther of the Butcher's Wife was inspired by the story real murder committed in the 1930's. According to traditional Chinese society, a woman who has killed her husband must have committed the murder due to her having committed an extramarital affair. The Butcher's Wife seeks to disprove that notion, giving us an idea of what kind of abuse might push someone to that edge.

Books like this one are important to remind us how society can fail certain people. The protagonist, Lin Shi, has absolutely zero resources available to her. She is trapped in her marriage by her ignorance and by her communities ignorance, as well as slut shamed by her neighbors for constant rape at the hands of her husband. As an American audience, it is very easy to separate ourselves from her life and say that Taiwan is oh so very far away, but the truth is, abuse happens everywhere, in a myriad of different ways. Books like this can reflect a very sad reality and point out common weaknesses everywhere. While it is an important read, I have to say, I was very glad it was a novella and not longer than it was, or I probably would not have made it all the way through. At its core, it is the portrayal of the destruction of a young woman, and as I said at the beginning, it's not exactly cheerful stuff. Excellent work, however.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jenny :) on November 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story was well written but the characters were so morbid and unusual that it left me feeling disturbed after I finished the book. You can't help but analyze and wonder about the characters and what they could have done differently and why they behaved they way they did. It also gives you a good look at Taiwanese superstitions, village culture, stereotypes, and characteristics of the time period. It's a very interesting and strange story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dirk Kraaijenbos on November 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A true story, very brutal and vivid, strong personalities in difficult times, I really liked it a lot and will read it again.
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