‘The Lily Theatre’
The best-selling Dutch book of 1997, runner-up for the 1997 Trouw Public Prize, winner of the 1998 Gold Donkey’s Ear for best-selling debut, rights sold to at least twenty-five countries even before its publication and 800,000 copies sold: Lulu Wang’s sensational entrance into Dutch literature cannot have escaped anyone’s notice. The’Lily Theatre’, the title of her impressive debut novel about a girl’s childhood during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, has made an overwhelming impression on a large public. Lulu Wang’s gripping telling of the time spent with her mother in a re-education camp and the moving friendship with a girl from a different caste sketch a striking picture of the high tide of betrayal, intrigue and political tension.
‘Letter To My Readers ‘
“80% of my book is autobiographical, 20 % is fiction. Which part is which, however, I would rather not say”. Her commitment, charisma and positive attitude and, perhaps most of all, the personal attention Lulu Wang gives to her readers are some of the reasons behind the enormous success of her book ‘The Lily Theatre’. She toured extensively through The Netherlands and Flanders in the summer of 1997 visiting more than a hundred bookshops and libraries. Where other authors make do with an autograph, Lulu Wang likes to make personal contact with her readers. This explains why every gathering is an event for people to talk about.
‘The Tender Child’
Again the story of a young woman, Lian, who tries to piece her life together by examining her clouded past. The novel covers three major periods of Lilan’s life: the period from birth to her 6th, marked by sexual abuse; the time spent at university, during which her awakening passion struggles with her conflicting memories; and her writing period. ‘The Tender Child’ is a compelling novel written by an author who embraces adversity with a passionate purity. It portrays a woman striving for reconciliation with the demons of her past.
‘The Lilac Dream’
Finally, four years after the publication of Lulu Wang’s best-selling debut novel ‘The Lily Theatre’, the chronological sequel appears. In ‘The Lilac Dream’ Lulu Wang continues where The Lily Theatre left off. All characters from ‘The Lily Theatre’ return: professor Qin, uncle Fu (the Pink Pig), Jiening (Kim’s sister), father, mother and many others. ‘The Lilac Dream’ is located at the university of Beijing, where 18-year-old Lian is torn between her thirst for knowledge and hunger for love. The reader follows her on her path strewn with love affairs, and is cross-referenced to ‘The Lily Theatre’ through the ingenious use of flashbacks.
‘The White Feast’
Words of the author: This book is based on my father’s childhood. As a child, through to early adulthood, I spoke little with my father. This was partly because in China we are not used to communicating openly with our parents but also because my father was often not at home. During the Cultural Revolution intellectual couples were usually not allowed to stay together. I grew up with my mother and only saw my father once or twice a year.
‘The Red Feast’
‘The Red Feast ‘ is the story of Rong (father of the author), a nine year old boy whose father died of his addiction to opium. In 1943 his mother marries a kindly old peasant and removes Rong from the metropolis Tianjin to a small village on the edge of Beijing. At the local school a young teacher introduces him to the treasures of Chinese literature. Rong is fascinated by poetry and prose, and in 1947 leaves to study at a teachers’ college. He studies music, mathematics, drawing and calligraphy. He proves to be gifted at piano and writing poetry, inspired by two beautiful women, one in his home village and another, with whom he falls in love, at his school. With his aunt acting as matchmaker Rong’s mother succeeds in marrying off her eldest son Shun to the ‘Black Peony’, a girl in the village. Immediately after the ceremony, the Red Feast of the title, the wedding guests mistake the first artillery bombardment of the Communist siege of Beijing for firecrackers.
‘The Red Feast’ differs a little in style from the author’s novel of seven years ago, ‘The Lily Theatre’. Since that time Lulu Wang’s style has matured and gained both in balance and economy of expression. She has fashioned a harmony between her exotic Chinese imagery and a more lucid Western style.
While it is a short novel, it is certainly long enough to re-create for European and American readers the relatively unfamiliar literary environment of China in the 1940s.
While there are numerous books about the Cultural Revolution, there are few by Chinese writers about China during the Second World War. ‘The Red Feast’, like the novel ‘The Girl That Plays Go’, spans that little-known period of Chinese history. Its subject is famine and flight from Japanese military expansion. It is a story of peasants, and how they gossiped, quarreled, and married. It is about an adolescent boy who discovers the life around him, and within him. It is a story of love, jealousy, yearning, and ultimately the delicious dream of love.
This novel is about a young Dutch economist Chris, who goes to China to do business and who falls in love with a Chinese young lady Jelai. Cultural differences, various aspects of doing business with China, love and passion are themes of this novel.
A slightly erotic novel. Lulu’s most romantic novel up till now. A young academic Jian meets in the Mountain Emei (Sichuan Province, China) a young lady called Mingyue. She grew up in a Buddistic monastry and knows little about the modern world in which Jian grew op. Cultural differences within China, love and religion are themes of this novel.
This book is about the same person and the same historical periode as the Lily Theater, seen thtrough the mature glasses of the author, who attempts to revise her view of her adolescent experiences during the Cultural Revoluiton. A touching story that shows both sides of a girl’s life in the turbulant China in the 70’s. This is Lulu’s most mature novel up till now, in literary style and content.
Holland, Wo Ai Ni *
In 1986, at the age of twenty-five, Qiangwei emigrated from China to The Netherlands. The change in countries was nothing compared to the change in cultures. Surviving an avalanche of differences in day-to-day living experiences became her first fulltime job. Hilarious misunderstandings and ruminations thereon provide a Chinese perspective on Dutch manners, customs and idiosyncrasies.
East is East, West is West.
Each stays in its own Nest.
But when they collide,
Laughter they will surely provide.
*Title of the book translates as ‘Holland, Wo Ai Ni’
Number of pages: 80
Full color illustrations by © Xiaoling.Huang
Publishing House Lulu Wang
Date of publication: Spring 2012
For the first time Lulu:
– writes a book based on her experiences in the Netherlands
– her novella consists of short stories which form a coherent sequence, and Lulu calls it an „E-format”
– challenges herself by applying a short but sweet sentence structure, unfamiliar in her former ornamental literary style, thereby creating her own „E-style”.
– publishes her own book
– offers her novella in Holland temporarily only as e-book and book-app, „E-only”
– foreign rights for the paper book edition directly possible
– works with creative digital innovators
Lulu Wang was born in Beijing, in 1960. She has now lived in The Netherlands for 25 years, and had huge success writing about her experiences:
• The Lily Theatre, 1997, now published in over 26 countries
• Letter To My Readers, 1998
• The Tender Child , 1999
• The White Feast, 2000, also published in Italy
• Lilac Dream, 2001, also published in Sweden
• The Red Feast, 2002
• Intoxicated, 2004
• Bright Moon, 2007
• Wild Roses, 2010
• Lotus Fingers, 2011
Worldwide, more than 1.3 million of her books have been sold.
Contact: email@example.com or telephone: 0031 65491 8954
For information and daily blog posts: www.luluwang.nl
Paper book edition of Wilde rozen, Publishing House de Boekerij, digital book edition of this book, Publishing House Lulu Wang, Lotusvingers, Publishing House MatchBoox, the rest of the books named on the flyer, both paper book and digital book edition, Publishing House Lulu Wang.
Photographer: Xiaoling Huang