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Chinglish [Kindle Edition]

David Henry Hwang
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Marvelous . . . the conceit is elegantly of a piece, yet Hwang is able to keep turning it in on itself to reveal new ambiguities, absurdities, subversions and paradoxes."—Chicago Reader

"Hwang's plays collectively chart the evolving definition of what it is to be an 'American.' . . . His art has illuminated and anticipated our ongoing national story with a sensibility unlike any other in the American theater."—Frank Rich

Springing from the author's personal experiences in China over the past five years, Chinglish follows a Midwestern American businessman desperately seeking to score a lucrative contact for his family's firm as he travels to China only to discover how much he doesn't understand. Named for the unique and often comical third language that evolves from attempts to translate Chinese signs into English, Chinglish explores the challenges of doing business in a culture whose language—and ways of communicating—are worlds apart from our own. David Henry Hwang's "best new work since M. Butterfly, this shrewd, timely and razor-sharp comedy" (Chicago Tribune) received its Broadway premiere in fall 2011.

David Henry Hwang is the author of the Tony Award–winning M. Butterfly, the Pulitzer Prize–finalist Yellow Face, Golden Child, FOB, Family Devotions, and the books for musicals Aida (as co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 Broadway revival), and Tarzan, among other works.




Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Throughout his career, playwright DAVID HENRY HWANG has explored the complexities of forging Eastern and Western cultures in a contemporary America. His extraordinary body of work, over the past 30 years, has been marked by a deep desire to reaffirm the common humanity in all of us. He is best known as the author of M. Butterfly, which won the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, John Gassner, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and was also a finalist for the 1989 Pulitzer Prize. The play enjoyed a one-year run on London's West End and has been produced in over four dozen countries to date. His play Golden Child premiered Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, received a 1997 Obie Award for playwriting and subsequently moved to Broadway, where it received three 1998 Tony Nominations, including Best New Play. His play, Yellow Face, which premiered at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum and New York's Public Theater, won a 2008 Obie Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Language: English and Chinese

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, hilarious play! January 1, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Prior to an American Drama class that I took this year, I hadn't heard of David Henry Hwang. We began with M Butterfly, which I loved, so I started Chinglish with the same expectations.

Though its subject matter is much lighter than M Butterfly's, Chinglish is written with the same artfulness and thematic complexity (aside: it's hard to convey the genius of Hwang's words with simple adjectives like these) of his earlier work. Like another reviewer said, Chinglish is laugh-out-loud hilarious, but the humor is never slapstick. The play conveys what is "lost in translation" with poignancy and elegance; it deserves much more recognition than it has here on Amazon. For once, I actually agree with all the praise from the media that's printed on the back of a book. ;)

Plus, the playwright visited our class and answered all our questions about Chinglish, which made the second reading much more interesting. There is just so much attention to detail, from the dialogues written in traditional Chinese characters, pinyin, AND English, to the characters themselves...even if you read it casually (without the lens of an English major), it doesn't take much to notice what makes it special. I recommend it heartily!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle play August 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This play operates at many levels, revealing how much gets lost in translation and how deluded we all are regarding how much we understand at any point in time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughing Out Loud - not LOL July 15, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My husband and I read this, to each other and separately. Both found it a terrific read, excellently crafted play, well-rounded, full of irony, and wet-your-pants funny at times. Highly recommended! Also we can't wait to see how it will be performed. Leaves so much to ponder and imagine. Like a good play should.
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More About the Author

David Henry Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter and librettist for musicals and operas. He is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner, and a two-time Nominated Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. His plays include M. BUTTERFLY, CHINGLISH, GOLDEN CHILD, YELLOW FACE, THE DANCE AND THE RAILROAD and FOB. He wrote the script (or "book") for the Broadway musicals Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA (co-author), which ran almost five years on Broadway, the revised FLOWER DRUM SONG, and DISNEY's TARZAN, with songs by Phil Collins. As America's most-produced living opera librettist, his works include four pieces with composer Philip Glass, as well as AINADAMAR (Osvaldo Golijov - winner of two 2007 Grammy Awards), THE SILVER RIVER (Bright Sheng) and ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Unsuk Chin). His first play, FOB, premiered in his lounge of his dormitory at Stanford University. Hwang penned the feature films M. BUTTERFLY, GOLDEN GATE, and POSSESSION (co-writer), and co-wrote the song "Solo" with composer/performer Prince. Recently, he won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, and the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. He is currently the Residency One Playwright at New York's Signature Theatre, which is producing a season of his plays in 2012-13, including the premiere of his newest work, KUNG FU, inspired by the life of Bruce Lee. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, actress Kathryn Layng, and their children.

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