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Butterfly Tears 1St Edition Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0978223373
ISBN-10: 0978223373
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Editorial Reviews


"As delicate and fine as the most intricately woven filigree....The nuances of intense and deep-felt passion resonate throughout the text.... Thought-provoking and mysterious.... A work that will best be appreciated by those with an ear and an eye for the unusual and the unique, don't let this one slip out of your sight too soon, else you might come to regret it."

"Realistic portraits of contemporary Chinese women ... whose emotional predicaments are universally resonant." 
--Ricepaper Magazine

"A rare glimpse in to the dark and frightening world of the Cultural Revolution...."
--Her Circle

"Roy's first attempt at fiction is promising: experimental, thoughtful and best when it delves into women's emotions." 
--Amerasia Journal

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Inanna Publications; 1St Edition edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978223373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978223373
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,201,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: I enjoyed the author's novel The Long March Home.

A collection of 15 short stories which centre on the female experience of the Chinese woman, both during the Cultural Revolution in China and as the immigrant in Canada or the US. Most of the stories flip between modern day and the past bringing a resolution to some conflict that has long haunted the woman. Roy's writing is a joy to read. Her sentences flow with beautiful word choices, descriptive yet not flowery. Each story was a pleasure for me to read, even when I did not actually enjoy the theme of the story. Most of the stories I appreciated but there were a few whoppers that I just plain did not like or simply baffled me. This would be where Roy's feminist ideology came into play, something that eludes me to no end. However while those were stories I did not enjoy or "get" I still give props to the author for her delicious writing style. I look forward to Ms. Roy's next offering with delight.

1. Butterfly Tears - A Canadian Chinese woman suspects her husband of cheating on her. This leads her to both remembering her childhood in China and to incurring symbolic dreams along with a tale from ancient China. I loved the writing and story but it ended too abruptly and I felt let down by the blase conclusion that held no respect for marriage. 4/5

2. Wild Onions - A 12yo girl moves to the dormitory during the Cultural Revolution and through her eyes we experience the absurdity of "school" in 1960s China. We glimpse the indoctrination and the psychological effects it has on the girl as her confusion grows between her loyalty to her country or her family.
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Format: Paperback
In the course of our everyday lives we meet immigrants to our country. We wonder why they came here and how their lives are similar to our own and how they are different. Perhaps the most intriguing immigrants are those who come from China. Almost everything we buy or use today is connected in some way to China yet we know so little about the Chinese people. Zoe Roy's collection of short stories,"Butterfly Tears", gives us a window into the intimate lives of ordinary Chinese people. We learn about their life in China and what happens when they move to America. Zoe Roy shows us how her characters' hopes and dreams are similar to our own but with a Chinese perspective. You will finish these stories hoping to know more about these people and wishing them well. Besides being enjoyable short stories, anyone interested in China, woman's issues, and immigration to North America will find these stories especially interesting.
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Format: Paperback
This collection of fifteen pieces of short fiction is as delicate and fine as the most intricately woven filigree. Telling the tales of women who have emigrated from China to Canada or to the United States, the work reveals the complex nature of having to contend with multicultural, and often contradictory, forces both at home and abroad. Emerging from the Cultural Revolution of Mao Tse-tung, the spirit of the women that is the backbone of these stories shows how, despite the harshest discipline and the most dehumanizing conditions, some women still have the strength to endure the most adverse circumstances, and, rather than becoming embittered by them, can remain sensitive to both their own needs, as well as to those of others. The nobility of these daughters of China recalls the proud heritage from which they have emerged into contemporary Western society.

Born in China, Zoë S. Roy, the author of this collection, was an eyewitness to the red terror under Mao's regime. The stories have the immediacy of someone who has seen the best and the worst of times - no stranger to the idealism of Communism, she also has a clear-sighted view of the horrors and deprivations of such a regime. Unable to bear the humiliation of public denunciation, several of the minor characters in the stories commit suicide, having been guilty of nothing other than a desire to reap the benefit of their own labor. The upending of an entire society and the morals and integrity of a centuries old way of life are nowhere laid more bare than in the tale `Herbs', which tells of a man's sexual promiscuity, and his attempt to force such lack of ethics on his wife. She is told by her unscrupulous husband, from whom she later flees, "You just don't know how to enjoy sexual freedom.
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