The debut novel of one of China’s rising young literary talents—a gem of a book that takes a piercing look into the world of Chinese opera and its female stars In a fit of diva jealousy, Xiao Yanqiu, star of The Moon Opera, disfigures her understudy with boiling water. Spurned by the troupe, she turns to teaching. Twenty years later, a rich cigarette-factory boss offers to underwrite a restaging of the cursed opera, but only on the condition that Xiao Yanqiu return to the role of Chang’e. So she does, this time believing she has fully become the immortal moon goddess.
Set against the drama, intrigue, jealousy, retribution, and redemption of backstage Peking opera, The Moon Opera is a stunning portrait of women in a world that simultaneously reveres and restricts them. Bi Feiyu, one of China’s young literary stars, re-creates all the temptations and triumphs of the stage the world over in this gem of a novel.
This was an interesting short read. The jealousy and insecurities that can affect performers in the world of entertainment are the basis for this book. How an entertainer reacts to these feelings and others can determine their course through life.
The descriptions throughout out the book are colorful and in tune with nature. The prose is lyrical. Basically what I expect from Chinese writing. Even Yanqiu's distraught feelings are described with an air of beauty. The story also explains some of the elements of Peking Opera, which were very interesting.
My Rating: 4.0/5
Here are some other websites with information about Peking Opera: